A Child’s First Dental Visit Fact Sheet
A child’s first dental visit is an essential milestone in their oral health journey. This visit is vital to establish a “dental home” and begin preventive care. The earlier the child sees a dentist, the better.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that a child’s first dental visit occur within six months after the first tooth erupts, but no later than their first birthday. The dentist will examine your child’s teeth and gums at this visit and discuss how to care for them. They will also talk to you about your child’s diet and how it can affect their teeth.
The goal of the first dental tourism visit is to get your child comfortable with being in the dental office and establish a good foundation for a lifetime of healthy oral habits. Depending on your child’s age and behavior, future visits may be longer and involve more extensive dental work.
Here are some things you should know to help make the experience as positive as possible:
When to Schedule?
As mentioned above, a child’s first dental visit should be scheduled when their first tooth comes in or later than their first birthday.
It may seem like a very early age to take a child to the dentist, but there are good reasons for this such as starting dental visits early helps your child get used to being with the dentist, use of dental equipment and can help prevent problems from developing.
What to Expect?
The first visit is usually short and involves a few simple activities. The dentist or dental hygienist will:
– Examine your child’s mouth, teeth, and gums
– Check for tooth decay
– Talk to you about proper oral hygiene habits
– Provide information on diet and nutrition
– Answer any questions you may have
Preparing for the First Visit
You can help your child have a positive experience by preparing them for their first dental visit. Here are some tips:
– Talk to your child about what will positively happen at the dentist.
– Use simple words and describe the visit as a fun adventure.
– Show your child pictures of other children visiting the dentist.
– Make sure your baby is hungry enough to eat but not so hungry that they’re cranky. A full tummy can make it hard for your baby to lie still during the examination.
– The appointment will usually last around 30 minutes. Your baby may be unsettled or cry during the examination, but it shouldn’t be painful.
The most important thing you can do is remain calm and relaxed. Children often sense their parent’s anxiety, making them more likely to be fearful.
What to Bring?
Be sure to bring your child’s medical insurance information and any other paperwork your dentist may require. If applicable, you should also bring a list of your child’s medications and allergies. And finally, don’t forget to bring a favorite toy or blanket to help your child feel comfortable in the dental office.
Final takeaway :
After the first visit, the dentist will schedule follow-up appointments as needed. These appointments are typically scheduled every six months. During these visits, the dentist will continue to monitor your child’s oral health and provide any necessary treatment.
Establishing good oral hygiene habits early on is crucial in preventing problems like tooth decay and gum disease. With regular dental visits and proper at-home care, your child can enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.