Your Child’s First Visit
The first “regular” dental visit should be just after your child’s first birthday. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask that you hold your child during the examination. You could be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can begin to build between your child and your dentist.
We examine your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken so that decay can be revealed and check on the progress of permanent teeth under the gums. We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to protect them from decay. We will make sure that your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important, we will review with you how to clean and care for their teeth.
What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
We’ve been asked the question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store.
During their first visit, the dentist will:
- Examine their mouth, teeth, and gums
- Evaluate adverse habits like thumb sucking
- Check to see if they need additional fluoride
- Teach you about cleaning their teeth and gums
- Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits
What about preventative care?
Cavities and children don’t have to go hand in hand. At our office, we are concerned with all aspects of preventative care. We use the best in dental sealant technology to protect your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are advanced plastics that are bonded to the chewing surface of decay-prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will build a foundation for a child’s lifetime of good oral health.
Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly can help, of course.
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the bottom 2 front teeth. You will see this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the upper 4 front teeth and the remainder of teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.
At around 2 1/2, your child should have all 20 baby teeth. Between ages 5-6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a little early or late because all children are different.
Baby teeth are very important because they not only hold space for permanent teeth, but they are very important for chewing, biting, speech, and appearance. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene so that no baby teeth are lost prematurely.