New parents have plenty to worry about—making sure their baby is happy and healthy, adjusting to busy schedules and sleepless nights, and navigating unfamiliar situations. However, when it comes to your child’s oral health, plenty of support is available. Our office is a great place to start, as we welcome your little one for their first visit to the dentist!
When Should You Schedule Your Child’s First Visit?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended to schedule your child’s first checkup by age one. This may seem surprising, as there may only be a few baby teeth present at this time, but there are several important things we can focus on during this visit. This includes developing healthy habits that will contribute to a positive dental experience in the future.
Tooth decay can occur at any age, and is often prevalent in young children first learning to brush and floss. Therefore, our team will be diligent in monitoring cavities. Cavity prevention is just one aspect of our early dental visits. It is equally important for us to review proper oral care techniques for young children, assess their developmental milestones, and emphasize the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.
Preparing For The Big Day
Children can be remarkably perceptive to their parent’s emotions, so if you’re feeling anxious about your child’s first visit, it’s important to try not to let it show. Typically, during the appointment, we’ll engage in conversation with both you and your child, examine their mouth, and assess their oral health. It’s recommended to inform your child of what to expect beforehand without creating too much excitement or anxiety. You could even make the occasion fun by helping them prepare for “the big day.”
To ensure a smooth and comfortable visit, consider bringing along a comforting toy or blanket in case of fussiness. If possible, it’s best to leave other children at home so that our attention can be fully focused on the new patient. Completing necessary forms in advance can also save time and effort on the appointment day.
Once you and your child are comfortably seated in the dental office, we will take a few minutes to introduce ourselves and explain the checkup process. We will gently examine your child’s mouth, look for early signs of dental issues such as tooth decay, and evaluate the risk of future problems. By assessing this risk, we may be able to prevent and even reverse the initial stages of tooth decay without requiring any dental work.
We will also discuss methods to maintain your child’s oral health, such as diet, eating habits, and oral hygiene practices to prevent tooth decay, which is a common childhood chronic disease. This topic is especially important if your child is at higher risk for developing dental problems. If any treatments, such as fluoride application, are necessary, we will explain their purpose and recommend them accordingly. We will also provide tips on effective cleaning and brushing and schedule follow-up visits.
Early habits can shape a child’s life, which is why it is crucial to schedule a visit to the dentist by age one. Don’t hesitate to bring your child in for their first visit—it will benefit their oral health in the long run.