Your Child's First Visit
You already know the importance of taking care of your mouth, including the importance of regular dental visits for cleanings and exams. However, did you know that a good oral hygiene routine, including dental visits, is just as important for your child? A young mouth is undergoing constant development and changes, and these developments need to be monitored to avoid complications. At Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, we specialize in the oral care needs of children and can help them to develop oral care habits that will help to ensure the health of their mouths into their adult years. If you are getting ready to bring your child in for their first visit, here is what you can expect.
The Difference Between a General Dentist and a Pediatric Dentist
You may be wondering why your child should be seen by a pediatric dentist when you already have a general dentist that you love. While it is true that your child could technically be seen by a general dentist, we are trained specifically in the needs of children. All dentists attend four years of dental school. Pediatric dentists, like other specialty dentists, attend an additional 2 to 3 years of education and training. Our focus is on the treatment and management of the oral health of children, as well as child behavior. We are highly trained and experienced in the needs of young mouths. We also have additional training in providing dental care for children with special needs.
When Should I Bring My Child In?
Many parents are unsure of just when they should bring their child in for their very first dental visit. It is probably earlier than you might think. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should be seen no later than six months following the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Even if your child reaches their first birthday and they still have no teeth, they can, and should, still be seen.
What Happens During the First Visit?
The first visit is designed for us to get to know you and your child, and for you and your child to get to know us. When you are brought into the exam room, we may ask that you sit in the chair with your child in your lap, which can be helpful for keeping your child calm and comfortable. We then take a quick peek inside their mouth, examining their oral tissues and any teeth that have already erupted. We also check the jaw alignment and, if necessary, clean their teeth, and apply a fluoride treatment.
After a quick examination, we discuss the oral health of your child. We may cover such topics as:
After the exam is over, we will get your child set up for regular six-month appointments. Just like you, regular visits are essential for maintaining oral health. The early visits are also integral to helping your child to build trust in us.
Will My Child Get X-rays?
We prescribe x-rays based on the American Dental Association Guidelines. Timing and frequency on dental x-rays will depend on each children's dental anatomy and risk for cavities. If your child is more prone to cavities or has other health concerns, they will have x-rays sooner or more often than other
children. We utilize digital x-rays in our office, which can greatly alleviate parental concerns due to the reduced exposure to radiation.
The first visit is the first step to a lifetime of good oral habits and oral health. If it is time for your child to have their very first visit, call Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry to schedule their appointment today at (316) 202-9629.