When it comes to your child's oral health, the earlier you start, the better. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend scheduling your child's first dental appointment before their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth erupting. At this initial visit, the dentist will count your baby's teeth, examine their gums, lips, tongue, and the inside of their cheeks. Most pediatric dentists expect parents to stay in the room while small patients are being checked.
To make sure your child feels comfortable and safe during their first visit, it's important to prepare them beforehand. You can do a mock visit to the dentist and practice opening their mouth wide to count their teeth. You can also take them to a pediatric dentist who has additional training in caring for children's oral health. If you have an older child or sibling, they can go first and the dental professional can demonstrate what will happen next or answer any of the child's questions. When it comes to choosing a dentist, many people take their child on their own and this is often a good option, especially if your dentist has experience with young children.
Staying positive and talking enthusiastically about the dentist visit will go a long way in making your child feel comfortable rather than scared. At the end of the appointment, your child will receive a dental health bag complete with a special-sized toothbrush for infants or toddlers, toothpaste, and dental floss. Depending on how comfortable or moved your child is, he or she may sit directly in the chair or on his lap. In addition to this initial visit, most dental professionals recommend going to appointments at least twice a year. However, ask your pediatric dentist what they recommend for your child's individual needs. When your child is around 7 years old, your dentist will likely suggest an orthodontic evaluation. In the end, it's the basics (brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing every day, and having regular dental checkups) that have the biggest impact on a child's smile.
To schedule your child's first appointment, call us at 1- (86) KIDS-DENTAL or book your child's dental appointment below.