Baby teeth need care too. If your child is approaching (or has passed) their first birthday, it's time to get your child used to dental visits. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents introduce their child to the family dentist by age one or earlier if needed. That first visit is so important for many reasons, so read on to find out what to expect during that initial exam.
Crying...Lots of Crying (But Not Always)
It's difficult to predict how your child will react to their first dental visit, but many parents will be surprised at how things go. You should know that a child of this age will remain in your lap for the entirety of the visit and that can help keep your child (and you) calmer. Most dentists, however, are welcoming and understanding when a child seems unhappy about having strangers poke around in their mouths. These visits are usually quick and more enjoyable than you might imagine. If you are positive and calm, your child may well follow your attitude.
Information You Need
The first dental appointment is a mix of introductions in teeth cleaning, an exam, and some education for Mom and Dad. Parents often have questions about teething discomfort, how teeth are supposed to erupt, thumb sucking, and more. You can expect to learn about those subjects and more as your family dentist gently examines your child from the safety of your lap.
This is the perfect time for you to get your child started on the path to good dental health. Tooth-brushing and the need for good dental hygiene will be discussed as well as what to expect as your child's mouth continues to develop. In many cases, you can prevent cavities in your child's teeth just by brushing and by visiting the dentist regularly. Toothbrush and toothpaste choices will be discussed as will the importance of making the right food choices on your child's dental health going forward.
This initial visit lays down the framework for the beginning of a secure and welcoming relationship between your child and their dentist. In most cases, your dentist can take care of your child regardless of age, but special pediatric dentists are also available. No matter who you choose, dentists understand the value of creating a positive impression on young children so that they never need to worry about a dental visit. Speak to a dentist about getting your child dental services as soon as you can after their first birthday.