The First Dental Visit
A first kid’s dental visit should be a positive and enjoyable experience. While children are not born afraid of the dentist, they may naturally fear what is unknown to them.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children have their first visit to the dentist by their first birthday. It is important for children to receive proper dental care and to develop good oral hygiene habits early to help them have a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
At My DFW Dentist, Dr. Seznik and her team make every effort to ensure that your child’s first kid’s dental visit is a pleasant and comfortable experience from that moment your family arrives at our office.
The first visit will generally involve meeting Dr. Deb and getting comfortable with our office. Dr. Deb and her team will thoroughly explain every step to your child before doing it. This method is known as “Tell-Show-Do,” and is very helpful in making their first visit as relaxed and delightful as possible.
Dr. Deb involves the parent and child in every step so that there are no surprises. If your child allows, we will do our best to perform a cleaning, take x-rays, and do a fluoride treatment. Dr. Deb will check for decay and answer all questions you may have pertaining to your toddler’s oral health needs.
We ask that parents do not make a deal out of your child’s first visit by using words that create needless anxiety such as “hurt”, “drill,” or “needle.” Instead it is best to use words such as “wiggle”, “sleepy juice” and “tooth counter.”
Developing Good Oral Hygiene
Your child’s first tooth will usually begin to appear between the ages of 6 and 12 months. The rest of the 20 primary or “baby” teeth usually erupt by age 3. When teeth erupt, the gums may become tender and sore and may make your child feel irritable. You can help relieve the pain by rubbing the gums with a clean finger or cloth, or you may offer the child a “teether” or teething toy.
As the permanent or adult teeth begin to erupt at around age 6, the primary teeth come loose and are shedded throughout childhood, until about age 21. Adults grow 32 permanent teeth, including the third molars or “wisdom teeth”
As new teeth appear, examine them frequently for changes in color or lines that may be sign of tooth decay. Sugary foods and liquids attack teeth and gums so help and teach your children to brush their teeth after feeding or eating. When your child’s first tooth arrives, use a soft bristled toothbrush and a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste and encourage brushing after every meal and before bedtime.
Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene, so ask your dentist about the right time to start flossing. If you see signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately. Following these guidelines will ensure that your kid’s dental visit will be the first step in a lifetime of good oral health!