You do your best to take care of your mouth. You brush and floss every day and have your teeth regularly cleaned and examined. However, did you know that these habits are not just important for adults? They are just as important for your child. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, your child also needs professional dental care. However, many parents are confused as to when they should start taking their child in for dental visits. My Dentist Friend is here to help.
When Should the First Visit Be?
Your child should have their very first visit to the dentist much earlier than you probably think. Many parents do not think that their child needs to see a dentist until after they have gotten at least a few, if not all, of their baby teeth. Others think that their child does not need to be seen until they are at least a few years old. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, however, recommends that your child be seen six months following the eruption of their very first baby tooth or by their first birthday, whichever one is sooner. Even if your child does not have any teeth by their first birthday, they should still be scheduled for an appointment.
What to Expect at the First Visit
The goal of the first visit, and the next few afterward, is to get you and your child acquainted with our office and us, and for us to get to know you and your child. We want your child to feel completely comfortable with us. When your child is comfortable, it is much easier for us to help take care of their dental needs. During the first visit, we take a quick peek inside their mouth. We may count teeth as well as clean the teeth if necessary. After this quick check, we then spend the rest of the appointment discussing with you. Topics that are often covered include:
Will My Child Get X-Rays on Their First Visit?
In most cases, your child will not have X-rays taken during their first visit. We may, however, recommend them if there is a special issue, such as a cleft palate. If your child has a healthy mouth, X-rays are generally taken when your child is around the age of six when their baby teeth begin falling out, and the adult teeth begin to erupt. X-rays help us to monitor the development of your child. We can track jaw development, tooth alignment, and determine other potential issues. Our office uses digital X-ray technology, which greatly reduces the exposure to radiation. This can provide a significant amount of relief for concerned parents.
Starting your child with regular dental visits early in life can help to set them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene practice and good oral health. If it is time to schedule the first visit for your child, call My Dentist Friend today at 856-484-4114.