Your Child’s First Dental Exam
August 07, 2021 ABC Children's Dentistry
If you are thinking of taking your child for his or her first dental exam, congratulations! You are starting your child out on the right road to a lifetime of good dental health. However, we know that you may have some questions about what will happen at your child’s first exam, so we want to explain exactly what takes place and answer some common questions to remove the fear for both you and your child!
Here are some important facts to know about your child’s first dental checkup:
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child see a dentist for the first time about six months after the first baby tooth emerges. For many children, this means about one year of age, although some children’s teeth emerge earlier or later. (Check with your pediatrician if your child has no baby teeth by 18 months of age.) After the first visit, children should return to the dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning every six months.
- During a pediatric checkup, many of the same things happen that occur during an adult dental visit. The dentist will examine the teeth to ensure they are straight, correctly located and free of cavities. Next, the dentist will provide a thorough cleaning using gentle techniques designed for children, and follow this up with a fluoride treatment.
- After the checkup, your pediatric dentist will discuss his or her findings and recommend any future courses of treatment.
What Can I Do To Help My Child Prepare for the Dentist?
We understand that children are often frightened of new or unknown situations. If you are facing a child who is frightened of going to the dentist, there are steps you can take to make it much less traumatic, including:
- Talk to your child in positive terms about the importance of visiting the dentist. Instead of framing it as something that “has to be done,” explain how healthy and beautiful his or her teeth will be after a visit. Talk about the fun things that you will see and the nice staff at the dental office. Many children develop a favorite person at the dentist’s office after a few visits; try to use this staff member’s name and make the visit something to look forward to.
- Schedule your visit at an optimal time. You know your child’s temperament and personality better than anyone, so try to find a time of day when your child is not overly tired and will probably be at his or her best. Additionally, you can schedule more frequent, shorter visits in the beginning to help your child become accustomed to the dental office and procedures.
At ABC Children’s Dentistry, we pride ourselves on creating a soothing, pleasant environment that will make your child’s first dental visit a great experience. If you would like to talk to us about your child’s dental health or schedule an appointment, give us a call! We are always excited to work with you to ensure your child’s optimal dental health!