Good oral hygiene is not limited to adults. Good oral hygiene is essential for everyone from infants to seniors. Young children require the help of their parents to keep their mouths healthy. Starting before the baby teeth even erupt, the gums should be wiped with a damp cloth. As the teeth begin to erupt, brushing should begin. In addition to good oral hygiene practices at home, your child also requires regular professional care. Sunnyside Dentistry can help. However, many parents are often confused as to when their child should first start going to the dentist.
When Should My Child First Be Seen?
The very first visit is recommended much earlier than many parents expect. The AAPD recommends that children have their first dental appointment six months after the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday. Even if your child has gotten their tooth just before their first birthday, or even if they have no teeth by their first birthday, they should still be seen by the time they turn one.
What Should I Expect at the First Visit?
The first visit is usually quick and fairly straightforward. During this appointment, we get to know your child and you. It is also a great way for your child to become acquainted with us. At this age, it is easier to help your child become accustomed to our office and the staff inside. They are likely to feel more comfortable coming in as they get older.
When you come into the exam room, your child will sit in the chair. It may be easier for your child to sit in your lap. We take a quick look inside their mouth to look over their gums and any teeth that have already erupted. If necessary, we will gently clean the teeth. After looking over their mouth, we then discuss with you. There are a few different topics that may be covered. These include:
|Any issues we find.
|Oral hygiene for your child.
|Pacifier use, thumb sucking, and tongue thrusting.
|Foods that can help your child develop a healthy mouth.
|Questions or concerns you have.
After the appointment is over, we will then get your child set up for their next appointment. Just like you, your child should be seen every six months.
Will My Child Get X-Rays?
Unless there is a specific concern, such as a cleft palate, X-rays will not be taken until your child is around six years old. At this age, all of the baby teeth have come in, and the adult teeth have developed under the gums. Your child may have already lost a baby tooth or two, and the adult teeth may have started erupting. X-rays are an integral part of helping your child maintain optimal oral health and ensure that their mouth develops properly. We can see the teeth below the gum line, monitor bone growth and development, assess the need for orthodontic treatment and more.
Starting early with dental visits will help your child to feel safe and comfortable when they come in for their routine cleanings and exams. For more information, and to schedule their first appointment, call Sunnyside Dentistry at (503) 451-5104 today.