Child’s First Visit by Age 1
Many parents are not aware of the fact that children should have their first dental visit by their first birthday. After all, your child does not have that many teeth and cannot brush them. However, the guidelines set forth by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), The American Dental Association (ADA) and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that children be seen by a dentist by the first birthday. The Pediatric Dental Team adheres to these guidelines in the interest of establishing and maintaining the optimal oral health of children.
What to Expect on Your Child’s First Dental Visit
The first visit to the pediatric dentist lays the foundation for future oral care. In this visit, you will meet our team members and be introduced to the office, our policies and procedures. We take this time to get to know you and your child. Establishing rapport, confidence and trust are important. This is also a good time for you to ask any questions and voice any concerns you may have about your child’s oral health.
The dentist will examine your baby’s mouth and the tooth or teeth present. Tooth decay can happen in primary teeth as well as permanent teeth. In fact, decay in primary teeth can put permanent teeth at a higher risk for decay. Allowing your baby to go to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk can cause decay. Sometimes this is referred to as “bottle mouth.”
During this first visit, the dentist will discuss your child’s oral health and offer guidelines on how to keep your baby’s teeth healthy and clean. You may also receive information about:
- Baby bottle tooth decay
- Infant feeding practices
- Finger-sucking habits
- Mouth cleaning
- Pacifier habits
Be sure to ask any questions you may have. Unless there are extreme circumstances warranting it, your baby will not have any dental x-rays. If your child has a few teeth, you may be shown how to floss them correctly.
How to Prepare for Your Child’s First Visit
Morning visits for babies are usually best because the child is alert and fresh. You may want to bring your child’s pacifier if you use one. You dentist will be able to tell you what, if any, effect it may have on your child’s tooth development.
All visits to the dental office should be a positive experience for your child, particularly the first ones. We use language that does not cause unnecessary confusion for children, and we ask that parents do the same. Please refrain from using words like needle, shot, pull, drill or hurt. Even as young as a year old, these words can cause fear and anxiety.
We work to cultivate confidence and trust between patient and dentist. You are invited to stay in the room during this first visit. This gives you an opportunity to observe how our dental team interacts with your child.
Make an appointment today with The Pediatric Dental Team for your little one’s oral health.