Kid-friendly dentists encourage parents to schedule their child’s first dental visit before the first birthday. This serves as an opportunity to educate the parent on how to care for their child’s oral health at home and to get a head start on assessing the child’s future oral care needs. This review discusses when to schedule a…
Dental Checkup: What to Expect at Your First Visit
Dentists recommend getting a dental checkup twice every year for both adult patients and children. If this is your first dental checkup, you may be curious about what to expect when you walk into the office. For children, dentists recommend a dental checkup within the first year of life, or within six months after the appearance of the first baby tooth.
What happens during your first dental checkup
Whether a patient is an adult going to their first checkup in a while, or a child going in for their first ever dental checkup, knowing what to expect can help move the process along smoothly.
The first dental visit is usually short and involves little to no treatment. For parents bringing their children in for their first ever checkup, the dentist may ask the parent to hold their child in the dental chair.
During the checkup, the dentist will usually start by examining each of the teeth for decay. This visual examination also involves the dentist checking the fit of the upper teeth with the bottom teeth (known as occlusion). Any problems with the gums and jaw will be identified as well. Not all checkups result in dental cleaning, but cleaning is often recommended if there are any signs of early caries.
Dental checkups for children
Children may need additional treatments for preventative care, such as dental sealants and fluoride application. During this vital first appointment, the dentist will also educate the parents about dental care and hygiene for young children. Infants, toddlers and even young children will need to visit the dentist every four months for a checkup.
Children are more prone to tooth decay, as they have not developed the skills necessary for a proper dental hygiene routine. The dentist will be able to recommend baby toothbrushes, fluoride rinses and other tools that will help children have healthier teeth.
Some topics discussed with the dentist during the first appointment may include fluoride needs, dental hygiene practices, bad habits that affect the health of the teeth (such as thumb sucking and tongue thrusting), dietary needs to keep the teeth healthy, water intake and future dental checkups or cleanings.
Although seeing the dentist every six months may be sufficient for most kids, every four months is preferred for children with malocclusion, tooth decay, gum disease or bad oral habits. Some dentists are trained to treat children as well as adults. Make sure to go with a dentist that has a fun, friendly environment and a history of pediatric dental care.
Time for a dental checkup?
Our dental office specializes in pediatric dental care, and our main priority is building patient relationships. The first dental appointment is crucial and sets the stage for any upcoming dental care. It is very important to ensure a positive experience for your child at the dentist, and we can help you accomplish this. Call our dental practice today to get your child on the road to a healthy smile and a lifelong habit of dental care.
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