As a Pediatric Dentist I am asked this question by many parents. I have attached some information from our website, www.WesterlySmile.com, that addresses this topic.
The first visit has 2 major components:
- Parent Education: We provide you with the necessary information to allow you to ensure optimal dental health for your child. This includes discussing proper brushing and flossing techniques, assessing ideal topical and systemic fluoride needs, identifying any dietary issues or harmful oral habits, as well as other topics pertinent to your child. Our dental team prides itself on being up to date on all topics related to your child’s dental needs. Our 3 full time hygienists have been with the practice for over 45 years combined! This experience gives them a comfort level and skill in managing your child in a caring and professional manner.
- Examining Your Child: We gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. Often times this is achieved in a “lap to lap” fashion with the caregiver assisting the child. We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. Digital radiographs (x-rays) may be taken to identify any tooth decay and/or to check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth. Digital x-rays have lower radiation exposure versus traditional x-rays. We make every effort to keep this a positive introduction to dental office for you and your child.
When should I schedule my child’s first dental visit?
As soon as your child has teeth, there is potential for tooth decay; therefore, your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled by his/her first birthday or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting.
What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest that you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your youth. If you are nervous about the visit, then the less you say the better. Once you contact our office to set up your child’s first visit we will forward to you some helpful information. Your child’s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.