What To Expect At Your Child’s First Check-up


The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends children see a dentist for routine exams and cleanings every 6 months in order to prevent dental problems like cavities. 

A pediatric check-up exam is a routine visit where the dentist will be able to examine your child’s teeth, provide professional cleaning, protect your child’s teeth with a fluoride treatment, and let you know if there are any problems that need to be corrected or monitored more closely.

Some children may be afraid to visit the dentist for the first time, but there are many ways to help prepare your child for their first exam. Here are some tips:

  • Explain why it is important to visit the dentist.
  • Explain what to expect during their visit.
  • Schedule your visit for a time of day when your child is at his/her best.

If your child is uncomfortable with the dentist, scheduling more frequent visits can help them to grow accustomed to the dentist and routine dental procedures.

What Happens During a Pediatric Check-Up Exam? 


  • Diagnostic x-rays will be performed to help the dentist detect any early tooth decay or other dental problems that might be missed during a visual exam.
  • Children will be screened for any signs of oral cancer by checking areas like the gums, throat, lips, and tongue.
  • The gums and bones around the teeth will be assessed for any signs of periodontal gum disease.
  • The dentist will use special tools to check every tooth for any signs of decay.
  • Any existing fillings or crowns will be checked to be sure they are still in good condition.


Pediatric Check-up Exam FAQ

The AAPD recommends that children go to the dentist by their first birthday or six months after they get their first tooth.

At the first appointment, the dentist will check all existing teeth for signs of decay, examine a child’s bite, and look for any potential oral problems.

Pediatric dentists are dedicated to children’s oral health from the time their first tooth erupts through their teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child\'s teeth throughout childhood.

A dental hygienist will clean and polish your child’s teeth using a special toothbrush, a tooth scraper, and a mirror.

Routine dental cleanings take 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Most insurance plans no longer cover pediatric dental once a child turns 19 years old. However, most 19 year olds are eligible for adult dental coverage at that time.

Use a clean, damp washcloth or finger brush to gently wipe the first teeth and the front of the tongue to clean them after a meal and before bed.

You can brush your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.

Some babies may have tender gums when they get their first teeth. To relieve any discomfort, you may rub your child\'s gums with a clean finger or a wet gauze pad. If your the child is still uncomfortable or in pain, consult your pediatric dentist.

Children typically begin growing teeth when they are around 6 months old.