Taking your child to the dentist for their first dental visit can be a nerve-racking experience for both of you, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Your child may be afraid of the dentist at first, and this can cause you to become anxious. Knowing what to expect from your child’s first appointment is the first step to preparing.
Do All Dentists Accept Children as Clients?
Before scheduling your child’s appointment, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for. While all dentists accept children as clients, some are more patient and will allow parents to come back, and some are in a specialized branch of dentistry called pediatric dentistry.
What is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentists are dentists who have completed both their undergraduate and graduate degrees, along with an additional course that helps them to understand the needs of children better. They’re able to focus more on childhood conditions such as wisdom teeth and jaw development as well as preventative care for tooth decay.
What Age Should Your Child Have Their First Dental Visit?
Most parents think that the best time to schedule their child’s first dentist appointment is after all of their teeth, or at least most have them, have fully grown. Some even prefer to wait until after their child’s adult teeth begin to come in! However, the best time to have your child visit the dentist, according to the American Dental Association, is before their first birthday. Your child should visit the dentist within 6 months of their first tooth coming in. However, if you missed that, don’t worry! It’s never too late for your child to have their first dentist appointment.
What Should You Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit?
What occurs at your child’s first dentist appointment really depends on their age. An infant won’t receive the same care as a four-year-old, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
What Should I Expect at an Infant’s First Appointment?
If you’re setting up an appointment for your infant, you’re probably wondering why it’s so important. After all, they don’t have all of their teeth yet; they probably only have one or two. Infant dental care is more about preventing any future issues rather than correcting them, however.
At your infant’s first dentist appointment, your baby’s dentist will want to spend most of the time giving you information on preventative care. This will include things such as preventing bottle-related tooth decay, cleaning tips, and teething. The dentist may also want to examine your child’s gums and teeth, as well as perform a gentle cleaning if needed. X-rays are usually not taken at this point.
What Should I Expect for an Older Child?
At this point, your child will have more of their teeth. Their dentist may want to perform a full oral exam, including teeth, jaws, gums, and tissue, to make sure there are no issues. If your child has tooth decay, if their dentist suspects that there may be issues with their adult teeth, or if the dentist needs to update their files, they may request an x-ray be done so that they can see your child’s baby and adult teeth. Finally, their dentist will either perform a cleaning then or schedule one for a later day. After this, you will need to take your child to the dentist biannually, or once every six months.
How Can You Prepare Your Child for Their Dentist Appointment?
There are a few steps you can take to make sure that your child is thoroughly prepared for their first appointment, no matter how old they are. First, prepare yourself. Your child will react similar to you, so make sure that, even if you are anxious, you don’t let your child know. When possible, schedule your child’s appointment for early in the day so that they are less fussy, especially with younger children. Finally, prepare to ask questions. Your child’s dentist will be giving you a lot of information at once, so make sure you understand everything so that you can help your child properly take care of their teeth.
How Do We Help Make You and Your Child Comfortable During Their Appointment?
At Advanced Dentistry, it’s our job to make you and your child as comfortable as possible, especially during his/her first appointment. We carefully select our team members to make sure that they’re not only experts in their fields, but that they have a passion for patients, no matter how old. We know that every smile is unique, and so we offer flexible treatments for all ages, as well as flexibility when it comes to appointments so that getting a check-up for your child is hassle-free. If you’re ready to set up your child’s first dentist appointment, contact us today or give us a call at (614) 399-9381!