Changing diapers, getting only a few sporadic hours of sleep, and spending all of your money on baby food are all things many new parents go through. If you’re a new parent, you may be feeling like your world was turned upside down. Among the many things you’re worried about with your new child, your child’s first dental visit may be on the list. Luckily, this blog post will ease some of your concern.
The average age most children first see the dentist is 2.6, but The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child see the dentist for the first time six months after the first tooth comes in, or by the age of 1. You may be wondering why the first few dental appointments are so important since your child will lose baby teeth anyway. These first appointments are crucial for establishing lifelong oral health. The first appointment will teach you, the parent, how to properly care for your baby’s teeth. The dentist can inform you how to properly care for your baby’s teeth by covering topics such as: thumb sucking, nutrition, fluoride, teething, and tooth development. It will also begin the education process for the child to properly brush and floss. Children that establish these habits early will likely maintain them throughout adulthood. It is important to care for a child’s baby teeth because these help the child chew properly, aid in speech development, and promote a healthy smile that will give a child confidence.
So what can you expect during the first visit? This visit will likely be short and provide your child a chance to meet the dentist and become accustomed to the process. The dentist will examine your child’s mouth and educate you about oral care that is specific for your child based on dental development. You will also have to complete forms regarding your child’s health and medical history, so be sure to bring the necessary information.
If you begin taking your child to the dentist at 1 year, then they are probably too young to be nervous. This will help them become comfortable around the dentist at a young age so they don’t experience the pre-dentist jitters. However, if you wait a little longer, your child may feel nervous when going to the dentist. You can help calm these nerves by educating your child – teach them about what the dentist does and why it’s important. You can also take your child to your dentist appointment so they can see what it’s like for you to have your teeth cleaned. Lastly, you can also play “dentist” so your child is accustomed to having someone touch his or her teeth.
We hope these tips have helped you figure out the new-parent world. Being a new parent can be hard, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.