The Canadian Dental Association recommends the dental assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by around their first birthday. The goal is to have your child dentist happy visit to detect any potential problems with baby’s teeth.
It is imperative for parents to continually communicate positive messages about dental visits (especially the first one), and to help the child feel as happy as possible about visiting the dentist. Sometimes a happy visit may just not be possible and that’s okay. They will at least get a chair ride up and down, a prize for being brave and we can try again in the future.
Here are 3 reasons to take your child for dental exams:
- You can find out if the cleaning you do at home is working
- Your dentist can examine for dental problems by monitoring tooth/jaw development, including speech to get an idea of any challenges
- Your child can learn to love going the dentist
What will happen during the first visit?
- Dental staff will greet the child and parents.
- To fill out these forms in advance visit our patient forms area on our website or you may come in a little early to fill them out at our office.
- At the appointment, the infant/family health history will be reviewed and the dentist will address any questions and concerns.
- More questions may be asked, generally pertaining to the child’s oral habits, pacifier use, general development, tooth alignment, tooth development, speech and diet.
- Our dentist, dental assistant, and dental hygienist will provide advice on good oral care, how to prevent cavities, avoid oral injury, discuss fluoride intake, and sippy cup use.
- The parent/guardian may sit in the dental chair with the infant on the parent’s lap. This position allows the infant to feel “safe” with the parent close by during the examination.
- The infant’s teeth and gums will be examined.
- Good brushing and flossing demonstrations will be provided. This is important as the health of the baby teeth can determine the health of the adult tooth that will follow.
- The state of the child’s oral health will be described in detail, and specific recommendations will be made - which usually relate to oral habits, appropriate toothpastes and toothbrushes for the child, orthodontically correct pacifiers, and diet.
- Small x-rays, that could show decay between teeth and a bigger x-ray to show if teeth are erupting the way they should, may be taken at the appointment.
- Our dentist may detail which teeth may appear in the following months and could determine the possibility of a referral to the Orthodontist in the future.
- An outline of the appointment schedule and description of what will happen during the next appointment will be discussed.
- Finally, we have prizes for kids over 3 years of age, and cool stickers for the littler ones.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s first dental visit, please contact our office.