A child’s first visit to the dentist should fall around when his or her teeth start erupting.
This is the time when many of the baby teeth have erupted into the gums, and it is approximately six months following the breakthrough of their first baby tooth. At your toddler’s first appointment, you can expect to spend half an hour with the dentist. During that time, they’ll do a new patient exam and polish, if your child is comfortable.
If your children are often put to sleep with a bottle, they are at a higher risk of caries (cavities). If you are concerned, the dentist will be able to identify any problems at their first appointment.
The Importance of Coming to the Dentist Even if Your Child Still Has Baby Teeth…
By the age of 3, most children have 20 teeth, which are often referred to as baby teeth. Children are born with these teeth, although they do not appear until several months of age. Although these teeth will eventually fall out usually beginning around the child’s 6th birthday, they are still susceptible to decay until that time. Tooth decay can cause unwanted pain and infection. It can even affect their growth.
All throughout childhood, the dentist will inspect the baby teeth for cavities and signs of decay, as well as ensure the teeth are erupting normally. As the child grows, dental visits continue according to a schedule determined by the dental care provider.
Parents are instructed on proper home dental care and advised of day-to-day habits that could cause early decay.
How to prepare your child for a trip to the dentist…
Parents should speak with children openly about an upcoming dental appointment and answer any questions a child may have about the experience.
Here are some things you can say to your child about their first appointment:
- Your dentist will count your teeth
- Your dentist will brush your teeth
- Nothing will hurt or bother you, but if it does, just tell the dentist
It is important to familiarize your child with our dental office environment to see any anxiety that could be associated with future visits.
Read our BLOG for tips on How to Make Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist a Success.