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Your Child's First Dental Appointment: 5 Things to Keep in Mind

Posted by Dr. Mark Mann

Sep 29, 2014 2:00:00 PM

20959818_sFor a new parent, the most common concern is should your child visit a dentist and when? The rule is the first dental appointment should by the first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that a dentist visit before children turn one can save the risk of childhood cavities. When it comes to childrens dental care, many parents are surprised to know that early dentist visits are essential. Statistically, it is a proven fact that children tend to have at least one cavity before they turn four. Some kids get cavities at an early age of two as well.

Preventing childhood cavities

The only way to prevent cavities in early childhood is by managing their children’s diet, hygiene and fluoride supply. However, cavities are not the only concern for parents. During the first dental visit, a dentist discusses various dental care topics such as:

·         Caring for an infant’s teeth

·         Sufficient use of fluoride

·         Oral hygiene (thumb sucking)

·         Teething

·         Diet and oral health

After the first visit to the dentist, a detailed schedule will be planned for follow up visits. These follow ups may occur every 6 months. As your child grows, various dental problems will be highlighted and you can effectively manage the problems with adequate care.

Choosing the right dentist

In the last decade, pediatric dental care has become extremely important and many dental schools are ensuring graduates leaving school are equipped with the knowledge and skill to handle the needs of kids. In order to find the best dentist for your child, take the following steps:

  • Call the dentist’s office and find out when is the best recommended age for the first dental visit. Look for an office that suggests that your child should visit the dentist when the first tooth surfaces or by the first birthday, whichever comes first.
  • Speak to neighbors and friends to get a referral. Usually, this works well, as you will get first hand information about the dentist and his ability to treat children.
  • Read local forums and reviews to find a dentist in your neighborhood. The more positive reviews a dentist has, the better. At the same time, do not let a few bad reviews turn you off.

Preparing your baby for a dental visit

No child likes the sight of a doctor’s office because it causes an unspoken fear and could also bring back horrific memories of needles and vaccinations. However, several modern-day dental offices are child-friendly and know how to deal with children’s fears. Look for an office that is:

  • Parent- and children-friendly
  • Good décor that looks warm and inviting from a child’s perspective
  • Answers all your concerns
  • Gentle and loving towards your child
  • Gives you realistic measures
  • Gives you the right advice

What to expect out of child behavior?

Every child fusses during a dental visit. However, a good dentist will put your child at ease and make him or her as comfortable as he can during the first visit. In fact, some children learn to enjoy their visit to the dentist. In order to get to this state, a parent has to do something extra. Make your child feel comfortable by bringing in extra diapers, snacks and favorite toys to keep their visit comfortable.

What to expect on your first visit?

During the first visit to a child dentist, expect the following:

  • Your child’s history will be reviewed
  • The dentist will ask questions regarding your child’s oral hygiene
  • The dentist will review signs of teething, distress and the possibility of overbite
  • The dentist will check soft tissues, and gums
  • Will check the risks of cavities

Before leaving the dentist office, a good dentist will give you specific instructions on children's dental care. If there any concerns that needs immediate attention, the dentist will fix an appointment to discuss the same. There are many qualified children’s dentists in the United States. Just make sure you visit an accredited dentist for your child’s dental care and needs.

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The Mann Dental Care Blog features important topics regarding dental health. Over one-hundred dental care posts have been published, providing our readers with a great resource for timely news about dental care.

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