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What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the age when your child should go to the dentist for the first time.  Many people think that taking your child to the dentist before they are one year old is too early.  They wonder what a dentist could possibly do with such a young child.

First Dental VisitOne of the main reasons that we like to see children at such a young age is so that we can catch small problems before they turn into large catastrophes.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has said, “Unrecognized dental disease can result in exacerbated problems which lead to more extensive and expensive care, whereas early detection and management of oral conditions can improve a child’s oral health, general health and well-being, and school readiness.”

I think some of the reasons that parents don’t bring their children into the dentist by age 1 is because they don’t know why they should and they have a fear of the unknown.  Hopefully this article will provide information to alleviate both of those concerns.  If you’re wondering what a dentist will do at your child’s first dental appointment, you’ve come to the right place!

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

The first dental visit can be composed of a few different parts, depending on how your dentist conducts appointments with children on their first dental visit.  A few things that your child’s dentist is sure to do is to look inside of your child’s mouth, introduce the child to the dental environment, and give oral health information to the parents.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit: Looking Inside the Mouth

Your child’s dentist will be able to take a quick look inside of your child’s mouth.  The dentist probably won’t use the dental chair.  An often-used method of examining very young children is to have the child lay down in the parent’s lap with the child’s head resting in the dentist’s lap.

During this brief examination, the dentist will look for a variety of things, including making sure that:

  • All of your child’s teeth are coming in properly and at the right time.
  • The tongue and tissues inside of the mouth are developing properly.
  • There are no early problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Your child’s teeth are healthy and cavity-free (Now may be a good time to make sure that you’re not causing cavities on your child’s teeth!)
  • There are no developmental anomalies with any dental structures (such as extra teeth or fusion and gemination)

Your Child’s First Dental Visit: Introducing Your Child to the Dental Office

Pediatric dentists are specially-trained in the area of helping children become acquainted with the dental office.  They know how to help your child get comfortable with the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the dental office.

Also, the dentist will note any behavior issues that your child may have in the dental office so that the dentist can be helpful and accommodating at future dental visits.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit: Getting Oral Health Information

Your child’s dentist will be able to give you valuable information regarding the oral health of your child.  This can include discussing your child’s diet and pinpointing any foods or feeding habits that can be detrimental to your child’s dental health.  Your child’s dentist may let you know how “at risk” your child is to develop cavities based on you kid’s oral hygiene and diet.

Also, if you haven’t been getting enough Oral Answers in your life, then your child’s dentist can help you understand why baby teeth are important.

Lastly, your child’s dentist is here to help you!  If you have any questions at all about caring for your precious little one’s baby teeth, your child’s dentist will be able to answer them for you.

Questions About Your Child’s First Dental Visit?

If you have anything to say about this article or have any questions about your child’s first dental visit, please feel free to drop me a line by filling out the comment form below.  Thanks for reading!



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