What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit | Lone Star Pediatric Dental & Braces
I believe it was the wise and witty Jane Austen who once wrote, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that most adults fear visiting the dentist.”
Ok, we may have only gotten the beginning part right but the truth remains the same.
So how can we as parents prepare our children to break the stereotype?
It starts with their first visit!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a “dental home” for your child by the age of 1 or within 6 months after their first tooth comes in. A “dental home” is just as it sounds: a place of caring trust that includes an ongoing relationship between the dentist and patient uniting all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, accessible, and family-centric way. By having a dental home in place, your child will not only be able to get consistent care throughout their childhood and adolescence but they will also be able to build a relationship with their dentist on the basis of trust.
When should I bring my child in for their first visit?
It may come as a surprise but we actually recommend that a child should be seen starting at 6 months old or when they get their first tooth.
Bringing them in this young allows your child to acclimate to the dentist and their team as well as the tools and language. Early visits also enable your child’s dentist to keep an eye on potential issues such as bottle cavities or even things that could impact speech development.
At Lone Star Pediatric Dental and Braces, your child’s first visit is typically short. For babies and toddlers, we utilize a method called the lap exam. This allows your child to remain close to you while the dentist examines them! In this type of exam, your child will sit on your lap facing you, almost like a hug. The dentist will then sit across from you and gently lay your child back. During the exam, the dentist will examine existing teeth for decay, their bite, and look for any potential problems with their gums, jaw, and oral tissues. Once the examination is done, they will clean your child’s teeth.
After the examination is complete, the dentist or assistant will discuss proper at-home oral health care basics for children, along with setting you and your family up for success by answering any questions you may have.
We love to save the best for last by getting your child a gift and balloon for being so awesome and get you set up for your next visit with us!
Why should I take my child to a pediatric dentist versus a general dentist?
Our pediatric dentists have gone through at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry. This provides them with essential knowledge to care for your growing child as well communicate to them in a gentle and non-threatening manner such as referring to the suction as “Mr. Thirsty” or fluoride treatment as “teeth vitamins”. Our office is also all geared to care for children and put them at ease through balloons, prizes, games, and movies for the kids to watch while they are being seen! We make sure your children are receiving the most fun and qualified care as they grow.