Yout Child’s First Dental Appointment

(By Bryan Johnson, D.M.D. The Doctors Orders)

It is generally recommended that your child’s first visit to a dentist should take place within six months of the presence of the first tooth or by your child’s first birthday. This first visit is usually quick and involves minimal treatment. Your dentist will examine all of your child’s teeth for decay, examine his / her bite, look for any gum problems, and make sure that the oral tissues are healthy. When indicated, your child’s teeth will be cleaned and the dentist will decide if fluoride treatment is needed.

Your child will certainly benefit from early oral examination as it aids in the detection of the beginning stages of tooth decay. Your pediatric dentist will discuss your child’s dental development and help you to establish good oral hygiene practices in the home. Other issues including teething, thumb sucking, lip sucking, tongue thrusting and the use of pacifiers will also be addressed by your pediatric dentist. It is recommended that you schedule regular appointments every six months to build up your child’s comfort and confidence in visiting the dentist and at the same time insuring that the development of your child’s teeth is well monitored and that any potential problems that may develop will be treated early. Proper maintenance of primary teeth (baby teeth) is important, as they play an important role in aiding children to chew properly, maintaining good nutrition, speech development and the maintenance of space for the eruption of permanent teeth around age six.

Why choose a pediatric dentist? A pediatric dentist has a minimum of 2 years additional post-doctoral dental training with an emphasis on the establishment of trust and confidence in children with their dentists. A pediatric dentist has training in pediatric and adolescent growth and development, disease causality and prevention, child psychology and management, pediatric restorative techniques and modalities, and special needs patient training. Pediatric dentists are dedicated to promoting the dental health of children and serve as educational resources for parents.

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