Your Child’s First Pediatric Dental Visit
On your child’s first dental visit, our pediatric dental team will take a full health history. In addition, our pediatric dental hygienist will complete a pediatric cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar that may lead to gum disease, and check for several other tooth issues such as cavities and bad breath.
We will also polish all your child’s teeth. If necessary, we will take X-rays and photos that can help us diagnose problems that may be undetected.
Dr. Bui will then conduct a comprehensive pediatric dental exam, looking for signs of developmental problems or disease. Dr. Bui will then have a personal conversation with the parent(s) or caregiver(s) to explain her findings and discuss dental care next steps.
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) both recommend that a child’s first dental visit should occur within six months after the first tooth erupts (but no later than the child’s first birthday). It is best to first meet your dentist when the child is free of dental problems and not wait until there is an emergency.
Appointments are ideally scheduled in the morning when a child is well-rested and in the best temperament. Adults should know that their demeanor can be crucial when accompanying a child to a medical/dental appointment.
Generally, the more relaxed a parent is during a visit, the easier it is for a child to remain calm. Adults are encouraged to be alongside their child in the room for the first dental appointment. On subsequent visits, however, it is generally recommended that parents/guardians remain in the waiting room, so the child can begin to foster a more trusting relationship with the dentist.
Scheduling your child’s first appointment at an early age allows your dentist to demonstrate how to properly clean your child’s teeth, identify any dietary or fluoride needs, and discuss additional oral care needs/products.
Like a well-baby visit with a pediatrician, your dentist can answer any questions you have about your child’s teeth and check for immediate problems, such as tooth decay. Having a dental-care checkup at an early age establishes a “foundation” for meeting all your child’s future dental needs.
Hopefully, your chosen dental office will quickly become a trusted and valuable health resource for your family – a place where you can regularly visit to learn how your dentist can help you meet your family’s current and future dental care needs. Early preventative dental care ultimately saves time, money, and teeth.