When Should My Child Have Their First Appointment?
Most parents are unsure of when their child should first have their very first dental appointment. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended that your child is seen six months after the eruption of their first baby tooth or by the time of their first birthday. Even if your child does not have any teeth by their first birthday, they should still be seen.
What Happens at the First Visit?
The first dental appointment is generally very quick. It is designed for us to get to know your child and for your child to get to know us. We usually start by having you sit in the chair with your child in your lap. This can help your child feel more at ease. We then take a quick look inside their mouth to look over their gums and any teeth that they have. If necessary, we clean the teeth.
After examining their mouth, we then discuss with you. We go over anything that we might have found in their mouth as well as discuss how you can help your child properly brush their teeth. We can provide recommendations on what foods to incorporate into their diet to ensure good oral health. We can also provide recommendations on oral habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use.
We want to make this experience extremely easy for you and your child. If your child is nervous about their appointment, learning how to prepare your child for a visit to the dentist is key.
How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?
Just like you, your child should have dental visits every six months. The next few visits following the first are generally short, and not unlike their very first appointment. As your child grows older, we begin regular cleanings and exams, and may also provide fluoride treatments as well.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Many parents wonder why dental care is so important at an early age when their child will just lose their baby teeth. While it is true that your child loses their baby teeth, these teeth still play many important roles in their mouth. The baby teeth help your child to bite and chew different foods and helps them to develop proper speech patterns. The baby teeth also act as a placeholder for the adult teeth. Losing a baby tooth too early can result in significant complications. Without a way to hold the space, their other teeth may shift out of alignment, leading to the improper eruption of the adult teeth. Additionally, infections in baby teeth can lead to infections in adult teeth, even before they erupt.
What About Dental X-Rays?
Typically, x-rays are not taken until your child is about 6 or 7 years old. By this age, we may recommend that your child have their first orthodontic evaluation. X-rays will help us to monitor the development of their jaw and the growth of their adult teeth. We can use x-rays to determine or predict different types of orthodontic issues and the need for treatment.
Regular dental care is just as important for your child as it is for you. Call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC at (833) 432-1457 for more information and to schedule an appointment for your child today.