When it comes to ensuring your child’s teeth are healthy, establishing a relationship with a pediatric dentistry is an important step in helping children learn good oral habits and catching cavities and other common issues early on. A pediatric dentist is skilled in taking care of both primary and adult teeth and is familiar with…
Getting Ready for Your Child’s First Pediatric Dental Visit
If you are a new parent, a pediatric dental appointment may be a foreign concept. You may not know what to expect from this visit, but you can learn what will happen. The more you understand, the more effectively you can get your child ready to see the dentist for the first time. This does not have to be a scary experience for your child.
When to go
Parents often ask a pediatric dental professional when the right time is to visit the dentist for the first time. Parents should not have to wait until the child has multiple teeth or until the young patient can brush and floss on their own. Children should start getting checkups around six months after the first tooth emerges. The first tooth usually appears when the child is between 6 and 8 months old.
Find the right pediatric dental office
Choosing a dentist for a child should not be a random guess. Though there are many options available, not every provider will meet a parent’s and child’s needs. Parents should focus on practices with experience treating children of all ages. It is also important to find a place where the child feels comfortable. It may be helpful to visit the office ahead of time and talk to the dentist.
Before parents take a child to a pediatric dental office for the initial visit, they should start good oral health habits. Even from birth, parents should clean the baby’s gums after feedings. Once teeth start to emerge, a parent or caregiver should start using a toothbrush on the young child’s teeth. However, toothpaste should not be a part of early care. At first, use a soft-bristled brush with no toothpaste. Toothpaste can be introduced around age 2.
Provide information for the dentist
Parents should give the dentist the child’s health history before going to the pediatric dental office for the first time. The dentist can identify any concerns or allergies the child may have. Having information about the child’s health will help the dentist make any necessary modifications to treatment and care.
For older children
Parents should not wait until the child reaches the toddler years to go to the dentist. However, if this occurs, parents should prepare the child for what will occur during the appointment. A parent can reassure the child about the upcoming visit. It is important to speak positively about the pediatric dental office and help the child understand that the dentist is going to help them.
Do not delay
The sooner you can start taking your child to the pediatric dental office, the more likely your son or daughter is to develop good habits. Tooth decay and gum disease are common among toddlers and preschool-age children. If you can start to focus on brushing and wellness checkups with a dentist, your child can enjoy strong and healthy teeth and gums throughout life. Choose a dentist you feel good about and make an appointment today for your child.
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