A visit to the dentist for the first time is a major milestone for a young child. Most children should see a dentist by age one, or within six months following the eruption of the first tooth, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Primary teeth generally begin growing in around six months of age.
Preparing for the First Visit
Visiting the dentist for the first time can sometimes be scary for children. Help prepare your child for their visit by talking about what’s going to happen. You can even practice at home by having your child open his or her mouth and gently touching each tooth with a toothbrush. Watching a video or reading a book about going to the dentist may also instill more confidence in your little one.
Parents should also prepare for the first visit. When visiting your pediatric dentist in Clermont, you’ll want to have a list of questions on hand. Maybe your toddler is still sucking his thumb and you’re concerned about the damage it may be causing. Or perhaps your child is too dependent on a pacifier. Talking to a Clermont dentist may help eliminate your fears.
What to Expect During the Visit
Your child’s first visit to a Clermont family dentistry practice will usually be short and simple. The dentist will begin with a visual examination of your child’s teeth and jaw to ensure that they are developing normally. Your child will be asked to sit in the dental chair, or if he or she is more comfortable, on a parent’s lap. The dentist will also check for tooth decay, mouth injuries, and other oral health problems.
Depending on the age of the child and the number of teeth he or she has, the dentist may recommend a gentle cleaning. During a cleaning, the dentist will carefully remove any plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth. The teeth will then be flossed and polished. At the time, the dentist may show you the correct techniques for brushing and flossing at home. If the dentist suspects decay, an X-ray may be taken for diagnostic purposes.
Tips for a Great First Dentist Visit
Want to help ensure that your child’s first visit to a dentist in Clermont goes off without a hitch? Follow these simple tips for a great first visit:
- Schedule your child’s appointment when your child is most awake. Avoid appointments early in the morning, late in the evening, or during naptimes when your child may still be tired.
- Provide your child with a light snack before the appointment. This will help prevent irritability due to hunger during the appointment.
- Don’t be in a rush during the appointment. Schedule the exam at a time when you are not in a hurry so that your child can feel relaxed and comfortable.
- Give your child a preview of a dental visit. Bring your child to your dentist appointment so that he or she can see you having your teeth cleaned and examined.
- Show your child videos or read books about other children seeing the dentist.
How Often to Visit the Dentist
After the initial visit to your dentist in Clermont, FL you will likely be asked if you want to make another appointment for your child. Just like adults, most children should see their dentist for a routine examination and cleaning at least every six months. In some cases, a dentist may want to see a child more often, such as if the child is complaining of tooth pain or has a cavity that needs to be addressed.
Between visits, help your child clean and protect his or her teeth at home. Before your child’s teeth even erupt, clean the gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings. Once the first tooth emerges, begin brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice. Begin using fluoridated toothpaste after your child turns three years old. Additionally, parents can help prevent baby bottle tooth decay by not giving their child a bottle of milk, juice, or other sweetened liquid at naptime or bed.
Reach Out to Hancock Village Dental
Ready for your child’s first dental visit? Contact the family-owned and operated practice, Hancock Village Dental. We can answer all of your questions and schedule your appointment.