What to expect during your child’s first dental visit
We recommend taking your child to their first dental appointment within approximately 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth or around 12 months. This is a crucial time to not only check the health and structure of your child’s mouth but also to get your child accustomed to visiting the dentist.
During your child’s first visit to the dentist office you can expect the hygienist and dentist to provide information on:
- Teething & methods to soothe teething pain
- Baby bottle tooth decay
- Infant and toddler diet & feeding practices to promote good oral health
- Mouth cleaning and tooth brushing for your child
- Pacifier habits and their impact on dental health
You should take a little bit of time to prepare your child before their first visit to the dentist by trying to schedule appointments earlier in the morning so they’re awake and alert for their appointment. For children who are a little older you can have a quick chat with them prior to their appointment where you can explain to them what will happen during their appointment and why it is so important to go to your regularly scheduled dentist appointments. It’s also important to build up the excitement around visiting the dentist so your child begins to learn that a dentist visit isn’t something they need to be afraid of or worried about.
During their first visit
When you arrive for your child’s first dental appointment you’ll want to provide the complete health history for them and make sure to notify the dentist if your child tends to be anxious, fearful, defiant or stubborn during stressful situations. You should also let the dentist and their team know if your child was apprehensive or afraid of the dentist prior to their appointment. This will let our team know to make their appointment exciting and a rewarding experience.
During your child’s first dental visit, our dentists will perform a full exam of their oral health including their gums, teeth, jaw, bite, and overall health. Depending on their age and their specific needs, your child may also have a cleaning which involves a light polishing and removal of plaque and stains. Our team will also spend time during their first visit to ensure that they are properly brushing, flossing, and caring for their teeth.
We may also perform dental x-rays for your child depending on a few different factors including their age, possibility of decay or cavities, and their risk factors for dental problems. Usually, though we will wait until their permanent (adult) teeth begin to develop before performing full dental x-rays on children.
Their second and continued dental visits
After your child’s initial visit, their dentist will discuss with them a plan for continued exams, cleanings, and treatments. Typically this isn’t much different than adult dental care and a visit to the dentist every 6 months but could be recommended more often depending on your child’s oral health needs.
Schedule your child’s first dental visit
Our team loves working with children and teaching them the best practices for dental care. We believe that a good foundation of dental care for our kids develops a solid pathway to good oral health for the rest of their lives! Contact us at 717.243.9020 or request an appointment online!