Once you see that first tooth peek through your baby’s gummy smile, you’re probably wondering when you should bring your child to see a dentist for the first time. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the first dentist visit should ideally take place before your kid’s first birthday. This can help your child establish a good dental hygiene routine that lasts a lifetime, as well as identify potential problems early so they can be corrected. Here’s what you should expect during that initial visit.
Preparing for the Appointment
When you bring your child to the dentist for the first time, be prepared to discuss his or her health history. If you have concerns or questions, it may be helpful to write them down ahead of time. Feed your child before the visit and make sure he or she is well-rested so the experience will be a positive one that sets the tone for future dental visits. If you have medical coverage for your child, bring your insurance information to the appointment.
What Happens at the Dentist
During my initial visit with a new pediatric patient, I talk with the parents about proper tooth and gum care during the infant and toddler years. Cleaning the teeth and gums as well as proper nutrition and pacifier use are commonly covered. We’ll show you how to best brush your child’s teeth and answer any questions you have about his or her oral health.
Next Steps for Healthy Teeth
Most children should have a cleaning and check-up with their dentist every six months, though some kids may need to be seen more frequently. It’s important to maintain good oral health habits between visits. As soon as your child has his or her first tooth, clean it twice a day with a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Children ages 3 to 6 should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Supervised brushing is recommended until at least age 6.
Limiting sugar and starch intake and maintaining a balanced diet can help prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Fluoride supplements may be prescribed if your child isn’t getting the necessary fluoride through drinking water.
If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Littleton, make an appointment for your child at Denver Dentistry and browse testimonials from our satisfied clients. I’ve been providing local general and cosmetic dental services since 2000. I look forward to meeting your family and helping you all achieve the healthiest possible smiles. Complete our online form or call 303.988.6118 to make an appointment.