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When Should My Child Get Their First Pediatric Dental Exam?
When you become a parent, you will experience many firsts as your little one goes through the different growth stages. Long before you get to the first day of school stage, you need to think about the first dental exam.
Taking care of your child’s oral health will help set the stage for a lifetime of good oral habits. The first dental visit will set the tone for subsequent visits. So, when should your child get their first pediatric dental exam?
Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Most parents assume that they should wait until the child’s first birthday before making the first dental appointment. But according to the American Dental Association, you should take your child to the dentist at about six months old.
This is around the time when the first tooth appears. You do not have to wait until a tooth erupts to make the first appointment. If you notice anything abnormal like bleeding, lesions, or white spots, contact a pediatric dentist right away.
Getting a Pediatric Dental Exam
Tooth decay affects about one in five children under the age of five. Detecting any developing issues at an early stage will help ensure effective treatment. During a pediatric dental exam, the dentist can diagnose dental issues and come up with the best treatment.
During the exams, pediatric dentists look for tooth decay, tooth injuries, and other dental issues. The dentist is also able to track changes that occur in the mouth as the child grows.
Choosing the Pediatric Dentist
You may be tempted to take your child to your dentist, but this is not always ideal. A pediatric dentist has the relevant training and expertise to deal with your child’s dental health. Pediatric dentists specialize in children’s oral health.
They have special dental equipment for the little mouths, and they know how to make kids comfortable during the exam. Their exam rooms have brightly colored décor and items that appeal to kids.
The First Dental Visit – What to Expect
During your child’s first dental visit, the staff will go to great lengths to ensure that your child is comfortable. As the parent, you will remain with your child during the first visit. In most cases, the staff will allow you to look around and get acclimated to the clinic.
You will hold your baby on your lap during the first visit, which helps to get rid of nervousness. The first visit is more about information than examination. You will receive information about how to take care of your child’s oral health.
Preparing Your Baby for the First Visit
Clean your child’s teeth or gums before the dental visit. Do this especially after feeding your baby. You can use a soft child’s toothbrush if your baby has some teeth. You can show your child pictures or videos about dental visits. Fill out the required paperwork beforehand. Come up with a list of questions that you would like to know about your child’s oral hygiene.
It is important to start taking care of your child’s mouth even before the first tooth erupts. Use a wet clean cloth or gauze to clean your baby’s gums. Do not use fluoridated toothpaste in the first two years of your baby’s life.
For more on when your child should get pediatric dental exams, visit Dr. Sam's Premier Dentistry at our office in Sherman, Texas. You can call 903-708-6400 today to schedule an appointment.