Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Your child’s first dental visit should be just after your child’s first birthday or first tooth appears. The first dental visit is usually short and involves getting your child comfortable in the dental office. We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination. If your child is older, you may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and the dental team.
We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums and check the growth and development of their teeth and jaws. X-rays may be taken to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums. We’ll talk about their home dental care routine, nutrition and habits.
We may clean your child’s teeth and recommend fluoride or dental sealants to help protect the teeth against decay. Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.
What should I tell my child about their First dental visit?
We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to their first visit to the dentist may pleasantly surprise you.
Here are some “First Visit” Tips:
- Take your child for a “preview” of the office. We’re happy to provide a tour.
- Read books with them about going to the dentist.
- Talk with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of their first visit.
- Speak positively about your own dental experiences.
What about preventive care?
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand in hand. At our office we are most concerned with all aspects of preventive care. We use the latest in dental sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are are bonded to the deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of decay-prone back teeth. We review the importance of good oral hygiene habits and the role of fluoride in decay prevention.
Cavity Prevention Tips for All Ages
- Choose a diet based on whole foods including vegetables and foods rich in calcium.
- Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals and snacks.
- Minimize fruit juices and other drinks high in sugar.
- Limit frequency of snacks.
- Choose nutritious snacks such as fresh fruits, vegetables or low sugar dairy products.
- Minimize ‘sticky’ foods, including raisins, dried fruit and other foods that easily stick to teeth.