Infant / Toddler First Time Visits
Going to the dentist can be scary for a child. It doesn’t have to be. The earlier you introduce your child to the dentist, the more comfortable they’ll be. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends children see the dentist for a checkup by the time their first time erupts, or by their first birthday (whichever comes first). Often, an infant or toddler's first visit is simply a short icebreaker to establish the dentist’s office as a safe, friendly place. Taking the time to simply bring your child in early in their development, even for just a brief “Meet ‘n’ Greets” or office tour, can dramatically reduce your child’s stress at subsequent visits.
Most importantly, early and regular dental visits can help your child avoid decay, a problem for an estimated 40% of 2- to 5-year olds in the U.S. These early dental checkups will not only enable us to detect infections, tooth decay, and developmental concerns early, but also give you the tools you and your child need to help prevent them altogether.
Developing good dental hygiene, even before their first tooth erupts, will help prepare a healthy environment in your child’s mouth. One that will help them grow strong, healthy teeth so they learn to chew and speak clearly, as well as retain space for the permanent teeth to come in properly.
Your child’s oral hygiene is so important to us, that we are one of only a few pediatric dental offices in Southern California that have two Registered Dental Hygienists on staff. Our pediatric dental hygienists specialize in the care of children’s teeth, but they perform many of the essential functions of patient care you see in general practice, including: removing soft and hard deposits from your child’s teeth, apply fluoride treatments, and take x-rays. They are also trained in the management of dental health concerns unique to children and adolescents, including early childhood caries and helping parents and patients understand the link between oral health and other factors such as food, medications, habits and/or various conditions. Our hygienists also teach patients how to brush and floss properly and self-check for potential health problems.
Importance of baby teeth
Proper care of your child’s primary (baby) teeth is crucial. These teeth are not just place holders for their permanent teeth! Here are some reasons to take care of your child’s primary teeth:
- They help in speech development
- They promote healthy nutrition by aiding in chewing food properly
- They facilitate the proper development of secondary (permanent) teeth - infected baby teeth increase the risk of pits, stains and generalized weakened enamel in adult teeth
- They reduce the risk of expensive orthodontic treatment later on - decay or early removal of baby teeth can cause adjacent teeth to shift, limiting the space for the permanent tooth to set in, increasing the possibility of crowded and misaligned teeth and jaws
What to expect during your first visit:
We will begin your first visit with an office tour.
- Due to COVID protocols, we’ve suspended our “in-person” office tour, but encourage you to check out our Office Tour video below.
- We will review your child’s medical and dental history, as well as discuss any concerns you might have.
We will take any planned dental x-rays.
- This is done on a case-by-case basis-at the doctor's discretion-who will take age, chief complaint, history of trauma, visible decay, and your child’s anxiety level and compliance into account.
- Your child will have a professional dental cleaning by one of our skilled dental hygienists or dental assistants. Who will also review your child’s oral hygiene, as well as show you and your child how to keep their mouth clean.
- Dr. Laura or Dr. Alex will then provide a comprehensive oral examination of your child’s mouth-looking for signs of decay or other problems-and discuss their findings and recommendations.
- At the end of your child’s visit, our friendly dental staff will provide your child with a personalized certificate and a hygiene goody bag with an additional prize inside.
The key takeaway is that early childhood decay and other problems are preventable. At All Kids Dentistry, we strive to create pleasant dental visits for infants and toddlers, that prepares them for a lifetime of dental visits that include dazzling smiles and perfect oral health.
Routine dental visits, from an early age, can make a huge difference in a child’s life-practicing proactive versus reactive dentistry. Don’t wait until your child has a problem, or worse is in pain, to schedule their first visit.
Call today and schedule your child’s appointment.
From our family to yours, you won’t regret it!