Even though baby teeth don’t stick around forever, it’s important to keep your baby’s gums and teeth healthy to set the stage for their adult teeth. It is never too early to start teaching your child about the importance of oral hygiene. Most dentists suggest taking your child to their first dental appointment by their first birthday. This may seem a bit early, but cavities are more common in preschool-aged children than ever.
Your child’s first dental visit will help you learn about your child’s oral health and discuss these topics:
How to care for your infant’s teeth.
Proper fluoride use.
Your child’s oral habits such as thumb sucking.
How to prevent accidents that could damage teeth.
How to help your child while they are teething.
The link between diet and oral health.
How To Choose A Dentist
If your dentist is experienced with young children, this should probably be your first choice. You can also consider taking your infant to a pediatric dentist – someone who has additional training in caring for young children’s oral health. They will know how to deal with young children in the dental chair and the office will probably be catered to younger children with distractions such as toys and stuffed animals.
Preparing For Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
Your child’s first trip to the dentist is mainly for you to learn about your child’s oral health and how to care for your child’s unique needs to avoid oral health issues in the future. So, before you go to your dentist appointment, have a list of questions prepared for your dentist about what you want to know and what you should expect as your child grows older.
Every child deals with the dentist differently. Your child may really enjoy going to the dentist and warm up to them quickly, or they may throw a tantrum and try to wiggle their way out of the dental chair. Just make sure you’re prepared for either situation. It may help if you bring your child’s favorite blanket or toy to provide a sense of familiarity and security for them at the dentist’s office. To make your visit easier, ask the dentist’s office to mail you all the forms you have to fill out prior to your appointment.
What To Expect
Your child’s first dental visit should be fairly short and informal. The dentist will check for any tooth decay and examine your child’s gums, jaw, and teeth. They will talk to you about your child’s oral health including:
Soft tissues such as gums and teeth.
Factors that affect the risk of cavities such as diet, hygiene practices, and fluoride use.
How to prevent trauma to your child’s mouth.
Your dentist may clean your child’s teeth depending on their condition. This may occur if your child has any stains that commonly occur in infants.
After The Appointment
After leaving your child’s first dental appointment, you should have a clear idea of your child’s development, your responsibilities, and your child’s likelihood of having problems with cavities. Based on the condition of your child’s oral health, your dentist will let you know when to make your next appointment. Most dentists suggest children visit the dentist every six months.
Trisha Banks is a blogger for Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry in Lakeway, Texas. Trisha wants to know why it’s important to teach kids about oral health at a young age.