Your Child’s First Dental Visit: What to expect

Seeing your baby’s first smile is a wonderful moment, and that grin leaves a lasting impression. Starting dental visits early ensures that your kid’s smile remains healthy. According to Dr. Normand Bach, an orthodontist, every child must visit a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears or before their first birthday.

What happens during the child’s first dental visit?

Well, the first dental facility visit is often short and doesn’t involve much treatment. It is an opportunity for your kid to meet a dentist in a friendly and non-threatening way. Some pediatricians may ask you, the parent, to sit in the dental chair and hold your baby during the checkup process. However, some medical practitioners might ask you to wait in the reception during part of the visit. This allows the pediatrician to build trust and establish a relationship with the child.

During the child’s dental exam, the pediatrician will check all of the kid’s existing teeth for plaque and decay. The child’s bite, dental issues with the gums, jaws, and other oral tissues are also checked during the first dental visit. The dentist will then clean the kid’ teeth and assess whether or not she is in need of additional fluoride. The expert will also educate you about oral care practices for kids and discuss all dental development issues with you.

Some of the issues that the pediatrician might want to discuss with you include;

  • Healthy oral hygiene practices for your kid’s teeth, gums, and cavity prevention
  • Fluoride requirements
  • Oral habits such as lip sucking, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting
  • Dental development milestones
  • Proper nutrition for better dental health
  • Teething

Schedule for regular dental checkups is also another issue that the dentist might want to talk about. Pediatricians recommend that your child must see a dentist every six months to monitor the development of his or her teeth, identify and treat any dental issues, and establish a strong relationship between the pediatrician and the child.

Regular dentist and a pediatric dentist

Most parents don’t know the difference between a regular dentist and a pediatric dentist. Such parents don’t even know where to take their kids for their first dental checkups. Note that a pediatrician has two extra years of training beyond the usual dental school. This additional training focuses solely on management and treatment of kids’ developing teeth, physical growth and development, child behavior, and the special needs of kids’ dentistry.

Though either dentist can address your kid’s oral health need, a pediatric dentist, his or her facility, and staff are all geared to take care of children and help them feel at ease. In case your child has special dental care requirements, you should prefer a pediatric dentist.

First dental X-ray

No rule for the right time to begin dental X-rays. Children at a higher risk of dental issues might have dental X-rays earlier than others. Often, many kids have had a dental X-ray taken by the age of 6. During the first dental visit, it’s unlikely that the pediatrician will recommend a dental X-ray for your baby.