Parenting a child can become overwhelming at times. From providing them with a healthy diet and proper medical care to ensuring they are happy at all times, it is easy to see the challenges. Unfortunately, many parents forget the importance of their child's oral health. Even as a baby, proper steps should be taken to ensure the mouth, teeth, and gums are growing in the healthiest manner possible. Most experts recommend a first visit to the dentist by the age of 1 or at least 6 months after the first tooth erupts. With this guide, you will know what to expect during your child's first dental visit.
To get started, you will need to provide the dentist with a bit of information regarding your child's medical history. You should discuss what your child is eating and if they have any habits that can affect the development of their teeth.
Long-term use of a pacifier or sucking on the fingers can increase the risk of development issues that affect your child's bite. Your dentist will discuss alternatives for soothing your child that will not lead to a risk of overbites, underbites, crossbites, or other dental issues.
The dentist will spend some time examining your child's teeth, gums, and the interior of their mouth. Teeth will be cleaned using simple brushing techniques. This will be sufficient for removing light food residue and any plaque that may have built up on the teeth.
If any signs of decay are noted, your dentist may recommend the addition of fluoride through water, supplements, or a topical application. Other issues that affect the teeth, gum tissue, and bite will also be discussed during the exam.
Education for both you and your child is one of the most important things to expect during their first dental visit. Most parents do not understand when and how to properly brush the teeth of their young children.
Applying a small amount of pediatric toothpaste to a soft-bristled brush or small piece of gauze is best, since it will not irritate your baby's soft gum tissue. You can also use your index finger to brush the teeth and gum tissue.
Most parents do not believe their child needs to see a dentist so early in their lives, but beginning early is key to early intervention and educating your child on the importance of healthy teeth and gums. By knowing what to expect, you and your child will be ready for the first visit to a pediatric dental clinic.