When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
“By First Tooth or First Birthday.” The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that a child see a pediatric dentist within six months of the first tooth appearing and no later than their first birthday.
The earlier your child starts to see a dentist, the higher the chances are to detect and avoid any tooth decay. Plus, by seeing kids early, we can begin a positive relationship with you and your child that will set them up for a lifetime of good dental health.
This should be the beginning of a positive relationship that will last through adolescence, between our dentists, the child and the parent. It also allows our dentist to monitor growth and development as the child grows and catch any problems while they are still small and easy to treat. We accept patients from infancy through adolescence.
Why see a pediatric dentist if my dentist is willing to provide care?
For the same reason you take your child to a pediatrician. Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry and complete two to three years of specialty training following dental school. Children have unique needs, physically and emotionally and that extra training addresses the unique health and emotional needs of children.
What should I expect on my child’s first visit?
The first visit will include a detailed inspection of your child’s mouth and jaw, along with a discussion of diet and hygiene. We will show you the best at-home techniques for good dental practices. We will take a general medical history and discuss your child’s eating habits. This helps us lay the groundwork for a lifetime of good dental health.
5 Tips to Prepare for Your Child’s First Visit
1. It’s a good idea to schedule appointments for young children early in the day, when they are alert and fresh. An alternative would be right after their afternoon nap.
2. Save time on your child’s first visit by completing New Patient Forms before you arrive. Please print and complete each form before your appointment and bring the forms with you to your appointment.
3. Prepare your child on what to expect at the dentist. We recommend focusing on the process, rather than fear or pain. For example, describe what to expect: “The dentist will see your teeth and may need to clean your teeth…” But don’t mention any unpleasant experiences you may have had with dentists.
Reading books, such as:
Reading these books can help your kids get more excited.
4. Write down any concerns or questions you have, such as how your children’s teeth are growing, how to identify potential problems, how to take care of your child’s oral health, or how to avoid cavities.
5. Your child might want to bring a favorite small toy, stuffed animal or blanket. We will try to accommodate whatever may make your child comfortable, especially on his or her first visit. The goal is for your child to feel comfy and at home.
Bring With You:
- Patient Forms
- Insurance Card
- Photo ID
- Previous Records
- Child’s Toy or Blanket
- Translator if needed