Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Your child’s first dental checkup should be around his or her first birthday, or six months after his or her first tooth appears. The purpose of the appointment is to help your child adjust to the sights, smells, and sounds of a dental office, to answer any questions you may have as the parent, and to examine the child’s teeth to the extent that he/she allows. We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination if that helps your child feel more comfortable.
We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. Sometimes we get the best look at children’s teeth when they are showing us how they brush or how they let you brush as a parent. Most important of all, we will answer any questions you may have about your child’s oral health.
Schedule Your Appointment
We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. It’s an exciting first step in their dental health, so we want to keep the experience positive. There are many children’s books about visiting the dentist – reading these together ahead of time will help your child imagine what their visit will be like.
Why is preventative care important?
At our office, we focus on educating patients about how to prevent cavities and gum disease. Brushing and flossing are key. Proper fluoride use and routine checkups and cleanings will prevent the need for fillings and other dental treatments. For children whose permanent molars are growing in, dental sealants are recommended to protect your child’s teeth from decay. Dental sealants bond to the chewing surface of those back molars teeth to keep bacteria out of the grooves of these teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health. Baby teeth are important. They hold space for permanent teeth and they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance.
Tips for Cavity Prevention
- Limit frequency of meals and snacks
- Supervise brushing and flossing daily
- Monitor your child’s beverages – stick to low sugar or sugar-free drinks
- Make treats part of meals
- Choose nutritious snacks