It is important to know when you should schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist to optimize their oral development. We recommend scheduling your child’s first regular dental cleaning and exam just after their 3rd birthday. Generally, their first visit is not very long and involves minimal treatment. At times, our dentist may ask you to sit in the dental chair with your child to keep them still during their examination. Other times, you may be asked to remain in the front reception area so that a relationship can be developed between our dentists and you child. This helps familiarize your child with the environment and builds the trust necessary to ease anxiety that may arise during future visits.
What does my child’s first visit look like?
When your child comes in for their dental cleaning and examination, our dentists will gently inspect your child’s oral cavity, including the teeth and gums. In addition, our dentists may also take x-rays to visually inspect possible decay and/or monitor the progress of your child’s permanent teeth that are found below the gums. We may also perform a brief, gentle cleaning and apply a topical fluoride compound as a protective measure against tooth decay. Additionally, we will ensure that your child receives adequate fluoride while at home. Finally, we will review the entire dental appointment with you and inform you about the best ways to clean and take care of your child’s teeth.
Before I visit the office, should I tell my child anything about their upcoming dental visit?
We highly recommend you treat your child’s first dental visit as any other “first” visit to another event, such as their first trip to the haircutters or first trip to the toy store. Typically, it is good to inform your child that, on their first visit, the dentist will:
- Inspect your mouth and examine your teeth and gums
- Look out for any adverse habits such as thumb sucking
- Determine whether you require fluoride treatment
- Inform and teach you how to properly clean your teeth and gums
- Recommend regular visits to our dental office, with the frequency of visits dependent on the individual needs of each patient
Are there preventative approaches that can be taken to maintain my child’s oral health?
Being a family-oriented clinic, we are concerned about preventative measures at all ages. This said, we have the technology available to us that can be used to apply protective sealants to your child’s teeth so that they are protected against the effects of food particles and bacteria that can accumulate in the grooves of the teeth. These sealants are a common approach to prevent your child’s teeth from experiencing decay and is one of our ways that we can provide a foundation by which your child’s oral health is optimized from an early age.