When Should My Child Have Their First Dental Appointment?
First Tooth. First Birthday. First Dental Appointment.
As a mom or dad to your little one, you get to experience so many ‘firsts’ right alongside them. Their first word, first day of school, and even their first dental appointment. We want to make your child’s first trip to the dentist a fun and memorable one that sets the tone of healthy habits your child will retain for a lifetime.
How old should my child be when they visit the dentist?
A common question new parents ask is, “How soon should I take my child to the dentist?” According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists, it’s recommended that kids go in for their first oral health checkup when their baby teeth first begin to emerge or by the time their first birthday comes around. Though it may seem early, this visit is essential to ensure your child doesn’t have any signs of gum or tooth decay and that their teeth are erupting and developing properly. Baby teeth can begin emerging as early as six months, so make sure their dental appointment isn’t far behind!
Did you know that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, yet it is almost always entirely preventable? Often times, kids will come in for their first appointment at three or four years old with cavities and tooth decay that could have been prevented with a routine checkup. That’s why it’s so important to start them young!
What should I expect at my child’s first visit to the dentist?
Our doctors and staff take extra care to make sure your child has fun at their dental visit and that they’re as comfortable as possible. If your child is nervous about their first dental appointment, we always welcome parents to bring their child by our office to take a look around, meet the staff, and get acclimated to our clinic before your visit with us! If you think this would help your child, feel free to give us a call to schedule a tour of our office.
At your child’s dental appointment, a hygienist will:
- Examine and clean your baby’s teeth
- Show you how to play a role in properly cleaning your baby’s teeth (we know it’s not always easy with those tiny little mouths!),
- Discuss diet and fluoride needs
- Recommend oral care products.
Your dentist will then join you and your baby. They will:
- Examine your baby’s mouth closely to check for any tooth decay
- Share any concerns they may have regarding your baby’s oral development.
- Answer all of your questions regarding your baby’s teeth and oral development.
At your child’s first dental appointment, the doctor may conduct what we call a knee-to-knee exam. This technique will help your child feel even more comfortable since they’ll be laid in your lap as we go through their oral health checkup. Your baby’s visit will conclude by us providing a patient dental health bag, complete with a specially-sized infant or toddler toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Find out more about what to expect when accompanying your child to their dental checkup.
Ready to get your child’s smile on track?
To schedule your child’s first appointment, give us a call at 1-(866) KIDS-DENTAL or book your child’s dental appointment below.
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