When Should I Take My Child to the Dentist?
That is the most common dental question among parents. Many parents often wait for years before they visit a children's dentist, some of them either hold off for insurance even when in a hurry to take their child to the dentist right after birth. Depending on the timing of enrollment and dental coverage, it may beat back the initial appointment.
Although doctors and parents might differ on when dental exams and care should begin, early screening is the best. For kids, the first dental visit is a big moment and experience as it can set the stage for proper oral health care throughout their lives.
However, the AAPD (Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) and ADA (American Dental Association) have predicted that a child's first visit to a children's dentist should be within six months of the erupting of the first tooth, but no later than age two.
Generally, a child's first visit is more or less like an introduction to the children's dentist office to learn about the significance of taking care of their teeth. The dentist checks inside the child's mouth to check whether the developing teeth are coming out correctly and there are no issues, but the first is generally to build trust and awareness.
Recommendation for Making a Child's First Dentist Appointment
It is better to schedule the child's first visit between the age of 6 months and their first birthday celebration. This is when the first primary tooth has erupted. Tooth decay is possible in infants, making it necessary to protect the child's dental health from the beginning.
It is crucial to teach proper oral hygiene habits from the start so that kids can get used to visiting a dentist. If kids have positive experiences in a dentist's office, they tend to enjoy brushing and take good care of their teeth. When they get acclimated to it, they will keep up with routine visits and be less prone to cavities, if the first appointment is completed between six months and a year old.
How to Prepare a Child for First Dentist Appointment
Here are the things to consider in helping a child prepare for the first dentist visit:
Encourage excitement about the new experience. An infant often cannot communicate verbally, but understands body language and tone of voice. If parents are mirth filled about the first visit, so will be the child. Parents must be ready for unhappy reactions from their child by towing along comforting belongings to put the child at ease.
Consult the pediatric dentist before the appointment to have a clue of what will happen during the initial visit. All children's dentists have ways of doing things; it makes the parent feel relaxed and prepared ahead of the first visit.
What Happens During a Child's First Dentist Visit?
Each professional dentist has a unique way of handling infants; the first visit is typically the same across the board. Much cleaning is not needed when only a few teeth have erupted. A thorough exam is performed by a children's dentist on the first visit to determine whether the child is developing at a reasonable pace healthily.
The parent has a crucial role to play during the first visit. They have to be with the child throughout the appointment because they look up to their parents for comfort. And infants squirm around and fuss sometimes. This is common at that age. The dentist and the parent should work together to make the child feel at ease, comfortable, and secure.
The first visit typically includes:
Exam to check the teeth, gums, bite, jaw, and look for any oral health problem
Cleaning and polishing of the child's first tooth or teeth
Digital X-rays may be taken if there's any visible decay
Patient education and advice about dental care tips at homes
What Happens After a Child's Dental Appointment?
It is highly recommended to visit the children's dentist every six months after the child's first visit unless there are reasons to come more often. The dentist begins to work on the child's teeth once the child is ready for a second appointment. The second visit includes counting of the child's teeth and brushing and polishing.
An infant's first dentist visit is mostly brief, 15 to 30 minutes long. The little ones can be intimidated or overwhelmed by dentists, and it is best to make appointments brief and short. This is to build trust and make the child grow an understanding that each visit has a start and an end.
When is a Child Due for Full Dental Exams?
At the age of 3 years, a child is due for full dental exams. This is where fluoride treatments begin and they learn more about the importance of thorough flossing and brushing of the teeth. Here, the parent should participate, so the child brushes appropriately at home. The dentist will educate the parents on how to help floss a child's teeth and teach the technique to ensure a child brushes thoroughly.
The dentist also recommends the appropriate toothbrush, and that children brush their teeth two minutes twice a day. They may also recommend fun games and songs a child can use to help them reach the two-minute goal. The child is old enough and due at 5 to receive X-rays.