When & What Is My Child’s First “Regular” Dental Visit?
The first “regular” dental visit should be when the first baby tooth comes in, or no later than your child’s first birthday. This is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. For children under 3 years old, this is often done in mom’s lap! We may talk to you about how brushing goes at home, what foods and drinks your child enjoys, and we may check that your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home.
We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. Depending on your child’s age and what the dentist sees, X-rays may be taken to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.
To learn more, please visit the AAPD Parent Page at: http://www.mychildrensteeth.org
What Should I Tell My Child About Their First Dental Visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first hair-cut. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your youth.
Try not to be nervous about the trip yourself! Your child will sense your nervousness (they have radar for these things). Instead, be positive about the trip to the dentist! Do your best to explain what the dentist will do without using big or scary words. If you’re not sure what to say, then make a list of questions your child may have and bring it with you to ask the dentist before you begin. Leave most of the talking and explaining to us if you’d prefer!
When you get to our office, we will describe everything to your child using special words that they will understand (and words that will not frighten them). This is very important! Let us describe what to expect to your child. They will get to see and touch our equipment before beginning. And we will do our best to answer all of their questions along with your own!
What is a Dental Home?
A “Dental Home” is a place to take your child for regular visits to a dentist.
It is important to have one picked out by your child’s frist birthday! That way your family has a place to turn to with questions or emergencies. If you don’t have a dental home yet, don’t worry! It is never too late to pick one, and our office is happy to help.
Why does your child need a dental home?
- To help build a lifetime of healthy dental habits.
- To have a place where the dental staff knows your child and has a record of his/her care.
- To receive sealants, fluoride, and advice to prevent tooth decay.
- To find dental problems early – before they hurt.
- To know where to call when there’s a dental emergency.