What Happens During a First Dental Appointment?

Unfortunately, raising children does not come with a handbook. New and experienced parents alike often have many questions in reference to the various “firsts” of their child. While many parents may believe that their child needs a full set of teeth before their first dental visit, the truth is that an appointment should be made within 6 months after the first tooth comes in.

How does the first dental visit work? 
A child’s first dental visit usually requires very little actual treatment. This short appointment takes advantage of building a favorable and non-threatening relationship with the dentist and their office. The dentist will check the child’s existing teeth for decay. The dentist will also look at the child’s bite to determine if orthodontic care may be necessary in the future, and the child’s gums and oral tissues to ensure that all is well and growing in the correct way.

What should I be doing for my child’s teeth at home? 
The best way to prevent dental problems in children is to schedule and commit to regular dental checkups. At home care can start before the teeth even start coming in. Wiping down the child’s gums twice daily with a soft, damp cloth can help wipe away bacteria. Additionally, avoiding giving bottles full of juice or milk before bedtime also prevent the buildup of bacteria. Once the teeth start to come in, the following steps should be taken:

  • Brush: Regular brushing twice daily using an infant toothbrush and a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste prevents plaque buildup.
  • Floss: As soon as the child’s teeth touch, you should begin helping your child to floss.
  • Make it fun: Using games or songs as a timer can make brushing fun. Get creative to make brushing and flossing enjoyable.

Can my child go to my dentist? 
Pediatric dentistry is actually more specialized than regular dentistry. Pediatric dentists have at least two additional years of training, which includes child behavior, physical growth and development and other specialized needs of children’s dentistry. Unless your dentist also specializes is children’s dentistry, they will not see your child.

If your child is developing teeth, their first dental appointment should be scheduled. Ashburn Pediatric Dental Center in Ashburn, VA are skilled in providing friendly, knowledgeable care for children of all ages. Call to schedule your child’s first appointment today.

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