Your Child's First Visit
Tooth decay can start early! The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that they should secure a dental home no later than the child’s first birthday or 6 months after their first tooth erupts, whichever is sooner. Protect your children's teeth by seeing your dentist regularly. If your child gets decay they may have trouble sleeping, eating and learning due to pain and infection.
The dentist will be able to show you how best to clean your child's teeth, give suggestions on healthy foods for the teeth and the latest recommendations regarding fluoride use. This also provides the dentist and hygienist to get to know your child and family needs so that as they grow, the best care can be provided. In this way you create a dental home.
During the first visit, the dentist will review your child's health history, gently do a complete oral exam the child's mouth including teeth, gums, growth pattern, and all oral tissues. The dentist will look for decay and other issues and recommend a schedule for your preventative dental visits. The staff can talk to you about your child's risk for getting cavities, teething, oral habits like thumb sucking, talk about dental injuries and what to do if that happens. Finally, treatment options will be discussed if necessary.
Ways to help with dental visits:
- Schedule during the day when your child is best (not during naptime)
- Stay positive even if you are anxious in the dental environment
- Communicate well with your providers
- Do not use the dental visit as a threat or punishment. Bribing a child can also give them the wrong impression; taking care of teeth is as important as regular well child visits with a physician, the mouth is the entrance and an intricate part of the body and overall health.
- Teach your child good oral hygiene habits to instill a lifetime of good dental health.