Your child’s first visit to the dentist is like a rite of passage. It’s the start of a lifetime of great oral hygiene. The earlier you introduce your child to the dentist, the more comfortable they’ll be. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Dental Association (ADA) agree that a baby should see the dentist after the appearance of the first tooth. They also agree that a dental visit should be scheduled right after your child turns age 1.
So what should you expect at this visit?
The purpose of the age 1 dental visit is to learn about your child’s oral health and how to best care for your child’s unique needs. Dental problems discovered in their early stages can be prevented and treated more easily. This visit is to get your questions answered and to start building your relationship with your kid’s pediatric team.
The pediatric dentist will thoroughly examine your child’s mouth in the knee-to-knee position. You and the dentist will sit on chairs facing each other. Your child will sit on your lap, facing you while laying your child back with their head in the dentist’s lap. In this position, your child can look up at you while both you and our dentist can see clearly into your child’s mouth. While in this position, we’ll:
You will also be shown how to clean your child’s teeth and given a chance to practice. The dentist may also:
- Give you specific advice about the use of toothpaste and other fluorides, plus home care, including hygiene and diet.
- Schedule for follow-up care
- Your child’s teeth may be cleaned depending on if they have a stain that occurs commonly in infants.
Before leaving the office, you will have a clear idea about:
- Your child’s dental development
- Your responsibilities
- Follow-up care
- Your child’s likelihood of having problems with cavities or bite
There shouldn’t be any stress about your child’s first dental appointment. And with the right team, there will be no problem keeping you and your child happy and calm throughout the whole appointment.