First Visit to the Pediatric Dentist
At Kids Healthy Teeth, we like to emphasize the importance of education and prevention when it comes to dental care. That’s why parents are encouraged to start taking their children to the dentist early on for dental care guidance.
The pediatric dentist can help your child develop strong, healthy teeth early on. Even before the child is born, there are steps parents can take to ensure the best for their baby’s oral health. Check out our Early Infant Oral Guide for parents below to learn more!
When should I first take my child to the dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a good time to start taking your child to the dentist is by the first birthday or when teeth begin to grow in. Great oral health starts with prevention, so the earlier you bring your child in for a checkup, the better! A pediatric dentist can provide nutrition counseling, dental hygiene guidance, and preventative care tips for healthy teeth later down the line!
By introducing your child to the pediatric dentist early on, you can establish a dental “home,” so your child is comfortable going to the dentist in the future. At Kids Healthy Teeth, our office is friendly and inviting, with bright colors, shows, and games for the young children to enjoy. Our Katy pediatric dentists are trained in behavior management and communication with children. They will make sure to explain each procedure in a way kids can understand, so they’re not afraid.
What happens at a checkup for an infant?
Your pediatric dentist will brief you about what to prepare for your infant’s first dental checkup. Parents can expect to have a conversation about the parent’s dental history and the baby’s eating habits, so the pediatric dentist can be informed about potential risks or hereditary dental issues. Afterward, the pediatric dentist will conduct an oral examination of the child’s teeth and gums. There are many ways to ensure your child’s teeth grow strong and healthy, so the pediatric dentist will review proper brushing, nutrition, feeding, and dental habits for children and parents to practice as they grow older.
How do I prepare my child for the dentist?
Before going to the pediatric dentist, we advise parents to avoid negative language or technical jargon when discussing the dentist. This can cause confusion and fear, making it difficult for the pediatric dentist to operate. If your child is nervous, try taking him or her to one of your appointments, so they can see how calmly you handle yourself. Seeing how well your appointment goes can make your child more comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist.
You can also reward your child for going to the dentist with positive affirmations and games that are available to play in the waiting room. Let them know how proud you are of their mature behavior. If they associate joyful feelings with the dentist, kids will be more inclined to brush their teeth and be excited for their next visit.
What should I bring to my child’s first visit?
The pediatric dentist will need some background information to make a proper assessment of your child’s dental growth and development. Here are common topics that are asked at your child’s first dental appointment:
- Decay history of patient
- Decay history of parents (especially mother)
- Decay history of siblings
- Frequency of sugar intake (fermentable carbohydrates) in diet
- Timing of sugar in diet
- Brushing and flossing timing and frequency
- Fluoride exposure
- Saliva flow and quantity
- Tooth formation
- Type and number of patient’s Strep mutans bacteria
What if I bring my child to the dentist too late?
If your child’s first visit to Kids Healthy Teeth is a little later down the road, that’s okay, too! Children who are older may have the misconception that the dentist is a scary place because of past experiences, negative media attention, or rumors from peers. Our pediatric dentist at Kids Healthy Teeth will make sure to appease any fears or nerves your child may have by explaining each procedure and tool thoroughly. Parents can also book an office tour, so their children know what to expect before the appointment. Dental anxiety is extremely common and it can have devastating effects on a child’s dental health if they are too afraid to go to the dentist. That’s why our pediatric dentists work to create a positive, fun environment that kids can look forward to every time they visit the dentist.
How often should I take my child to the dentist?
After the initial visit, most parents are recommended to take their children to the dentist every six months, but this can vary with each patient. However, the pediatric dentist can let you know if you need to come more or less frequently based on your child’s personal situation and oral health. Dental visits generally consist of a dental exam and routine cleaning. As your child grows older, the pediatric dentist can also provide other procedures as needed, such as fillings, dental sealants, and tooth extractions.