Any parent can tell you, teething is no fun! A fussy baby, fever, diaper rash, food resistance…the list goes on.
But once the tooth makes it through the gums, you get the reward of a sweet, baby smile! It’s important to take care of this smile from early on by establishing proper oral hygiene habits from the start.
But when exactly do children need to start making visits to the dentist? Let’s take a look at when your child should have their first dentist visit and what to expect.
Early Oral Hygiene
According to the American Dental Association, your child should make their first trip to the dentist as soon as the first tooth appears. It is a good idea to go ahead and schedule a visit before the first birthday, even if no teeth have broken through the gums.
Why so early? As soon as your baby gets a tooth they are liable to get a cavity! The foods and drinks your baby consumes, personal health, and genetics can all play a role in oral health.
A healthy mouth, gums, and teeth are vital to your baby’s ability to thrive, so it is never a bad idea to be proactive and get things checked out early to avoid any issues down the road.
First Dentist Visit
The first trip to the dentist can be scary for both you and your child. Not knowing what to expect can add to the anxiety. Assuming you’ve selected a dental office that specializes in families, like Southeast Family Dental, you can rest assured your child will have a great experience.
What to Expect From the Dentist
The first trip to the dentist will include a general overview of proper dental care, a checkup of your child’s mouth, and maybe even a conversation about healthy eating habits to reduce the chance of cavities and tooth decay.
Length of Appointment
The first visit to the dentist will vary in time, but it shouldn’t last too long. A good pediatric dentist will understand that the attention span for a kid isn’t necessarily going to be the longest and they will try their best to accommodate that.
A length of about 35 – 45 minutes is a good estimate of time to set aside for your child’s first appointment.
Will There be Pain?
Establishing a healthy relationship with the dentist’s office early in your child’s life is incredibly important. Chose a dental office that works well with children and ask ahead of time if any pain should be expected.
Chances are, the first appointment will just be a check-up of the teeth and this will not be an issue.
Healthy Dental Habits
Setting a good example of healthy oral hygiene at home is a key step in ensuring your child grows up with healthy teeth and gums.
Establishing a Routine at Home
Pick a specific time each morning and night to brush your teeth. Establishing a routine will help your children understand when it is expected of them to brush their teeth.
Young children will feel more comfortable in their daily activities, which will result in more confidence and understanding in their routines.
Modeling Healthy Oral Hygiene
You know how the old saying goes, “monkey see, monkey do!” And if you have kids you know this to be one-hundred percent true.
Let your kids watch you brush and floss your teeth to set a good example for them. Brushing your teeth together can also help make what could be a monotonous task fun!
Eating Tooth-Friendly Foods
Along with oral care like brushing and flossing, consuming healthy foods can be a great way to be proactive in dental care. Avoid sugary foods if possible, and if your child will be indulging in sweets, have them drink plenty of water to cleanse their teeth of excess sugar.
Keeping the tooth enamel free from sugars will help keep your kids’ teeth healthy. Flossing after enjoying these treats will also help rid the mouth of excess sugars.
Future Dental Visits
Once the first trip to the dentist is completed, it’s important to continue this trend and establish a schedule of regular dental visits.
It is recommended children see the dentist every six months, or bi-annually.
Why Southeast Family Dental
Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis provides an ideal family atmosphere for patients of all ages. Children have the optimal experience to make coming back for the next appointment not only easy but exciting for your child!
Positive instruction, gentle check-ups, and after-visit rewards like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and prizes help ensure your visit will be easy and fun.
Other Services Provided
In addition to that first dental visit, you can trust Southeast Family Dental to take care of your child throughout the years as well!
Whether it’s applying dental sealants on permanent teeth, finding the right mouthguard for sporting events, or helping your child in an emergency, you can rest easy knowing they will be there for you and your family.
Schedule Your Visit
Call us today to schedule your child’s first dentist visit or simply fill out your information on our easy-to-use contact form.
Our knowledgeable team members are ready to answer any questions you may have and put any concerns you have to bed. You can also stop by our Indianapolis office to speak with someone face-to-face and view our space.
Our dentists are ready to meet you and promise to provide excellent care and create a healthy dentist relationship from the start!