First visit by first birthday or within 6-months of the eruption of the first tooth is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD and the American Dental Association (ADA).
Why is it recommended?
The CDC states that dental caries is the most prevalent infectious disease of childhood; five times more common than asthma. With more than 40% of children having dental decay by kindergarten, it is more important than ever for children to have an established dental home and place the emphasis on prevention, instead of restorations. Early childhood caries and dental decay are preventable.
What do you do at the child’s first dental visit?
Your child’s first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist and begin the road to a lifetime of good oral health. Depending on your child’s age, this visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums and oral tissues to check their growth and development. Your child may also have a gentle cleaning or polishing of their teeth to remove plaque, tartar and/or stains. We may recommend fluoride treatment. While not needed for the very young child, x-rays may be recommended diagnoses of traumatic injuries or dental decay. The dental examination can be done in a variety of different ways.
Our specialty trained pediatric dentists are experts in all aspects of a child’s growth and development. Based on your child’s age, we review and discuss any dietary concerns; feeding habits; oral habits; speech and language development; disturbances in dental development; oral hygiene; risk for getting dental cavities and proper home care habits. Additionally, when appropriate, we will discuss the need for fluoride supplementation; injury prevention counseling; and substance abuse counseling. We strive to establish a partnership with parents based on sound evidence-based health care, with a strong emphasis on prevention.
We believe prevention is the key to establishing a lifetime of good oral health for all children and it begins with their first visit by the first birthday.
Does Your Child Have a Dental Home?
A pediatric dentist is one of the most important care providers a child can have and we would love for our practice to be your child’s dental home. We are trained to specifically care for children of all ages and provide a relaxing atmosphere that helps comfort anxious children. Let’s make prevention our guiding principle and avoid serious oral health issues for your child. Visit our website, https://smiles4children.net, or call our practice to schedule your child’s first visit towards a lifetime of good oral health.