When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit

According to the American Dental Association, parents should bring their child to the dentist when their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday. There are several oral health issues that can be detected and addressed early on. Furthermore, familiarizing your child with the dental office at an early age can help instill healthy habits that will carry on through adulthood.

What to Expect at the First Visit

The first appointment is intended to be an introductory visit. Depending on your child’s age, there may not even be any treatment performed that day. The dentist will complete a comprehensive assessment of the teeth, gums and other dental structures, keeping an eye out for signs of decay and other issues.

During the appointment, your dentist can offer information regarding:

  • Teething
  • Pacifier habits
  • Baby bottle tooth decay
  • Thumb- and finger-sucking habits
  • Infant feeding practices
  • Developmental milestones
  • Oral hygiene

The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry

Many people think that taking care of baby teeth isn’t that big of a deal since they’ll fall out eventually anyway. But nothing could be further from the truth. Primary teeth help your child chew properly and maintain proper nutrition. They also hold space for permanent teeth later on. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, it can lead to a host of potential oral health problems in the future.

Preparing Your Child for Their First Visit

Introducing your child to the dentist at an early age can also help reduce dental anxiety. If they grow up going to the dental office, they’ll view it as a normal part of life. Thanks to advances in modern dentistry, visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be a source of stress and worry.

If you have dental fears due to past negative experiences, it’s important that you don’t pass those fears down to your children. In the days and weeks leading up to your child’s appointment, talk about the dental office in a positive manner. If it’s age-appropriate, explain how the dentist is going to count their teeth and check for cavity bugs. Talk with them about the importance of brushing and flossing. You can even brush your teeth with your child every morning and night to help instill those healthy habits. However, if you are still experiencing fear at your dental office, you may need to switch doctors and see someone who better fits your needs and the needs of your child. Luckly, NoBull Dental has the ability to match you (and your child) up with your ideal dentist based on your values. Just take our quiz and find a dentist to ease your fears and your stress.

Make sure to check out kid-friendly books and videos about going to the dentist. It’s a good idea to take advantage of resources like these.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids

For infants, it’s important to wipe down the teeth and gums with a soft washcloth after feeding. This reduces cavity-causing bacteria and helps prevent decay. As more teeth erupt, brush them with a soft-bristled brush and small amount of fluoride toothpaste.

As children grow older, they can start to brush their own teeth. Here are some oral hygiene tips for young kids:

  • Be sure your child brushes at least twice a day for two minutes each time.
  • Introduce your child to proper flossing techniques.
  • Always use fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out after brushing.
  • Help them brush and floss until you’re sure they understand how to do it on their own.
  • Bring your child to the dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings.

Oral hygiene is just as important for kids as it is for adults. Following these simple guidelines can help preserve your child’s oral health and set them up for success.

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Similar Questions

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