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Your Child’s First Dental Visit

September 16, 2013

You may know when your child’s medical examinations should be, but do you know when you should start taking them to the dentist?  Some think that the child should be in school or have several teeth before visiting the dentist.  In reality, your child can visit the dentist even if only one tooth has come in.  Proper dental care and examinations at a young age can help prevent issues in the future.

What age should they go?  It may be earlier than you think


Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be before their first birthday.  Taking them at an early age is the best way to prevent future problems like plaque and cavities.  The visit can also be beneficial for you, as you will learn how to clean your child’s teeth.  By taking your child to the dentist early on, it can help create a lifetime of good oral care habits.  This will reduce the chance for anxiety, fear, and stress for the child in the future.  With the first tooth, starts to come the chance of tooth decay.



The First Visit


Going to the first dental visit is quite easy and simple.  Many first time visits are nothing more than an introductory icebreaker to get your child familiar with the dentist and dental practice.  Your child’s appointment should be scheduled earlier in the day when your child is alert.  The first visit often lasts between 15 to 30 minutes.  If your child is corporative, the dentist may do an examination of the teeth, bite, gums, and oral tissue to monitor the development and see if there might be any problem areas.  The dentist may also demonstrate how to properly clean and care for your child’s teeth so you can help prevent cavities and plaque.  An assessment for the need of fluoride may also be done, so you can be aware if any fluoride treatment might be needed in the future.



The importance of early visits


The advantage to taking your child to the dentist early on is to prevent any tooth decay and issues they might develop, especially if they are ignored.  Also, frequent visits will reduce the stress and anxiety the child may have about visiting the dentist in the future.  By doing so, this will lead to a lifetime of good mouth care.  At the dentist, your child will learn the importance of regular brush and flossing, as well as good dental hygiene.  Another important matter is fluoride.  Some children do not get enough fluoride in their daily life.  A child will begin to need supplemental fluoride by six months of age.  A dentist can provide fluoride treatments for your child, and help protect the enamel of your child’s tooth.  As your child gets older, you can also have the dentist do a sealant treatment on the teeth.  This is usually done by brushing on the sealant barrier on the first and second permanent molars to help protect them against plaque and cavities.

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