Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

Your Child's First Visit to the Dentist

Nov 8, 2017 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: Pediatric Dentistry

Young childMany people know that professional dental treatments are a vital part of oral health care, but when should professional dental care start? At Signature Smiles, we encourage patients to bring their children for their first dental visit at a young age. Our pediatric dentists have undergone specialty training to treat toddlers, children, and adolescents. Our pediatric services allow children of all ages to enjoy the long-term benefits of good oral health. We strive to make every dental appointment with children one that feels safe and enjoyable.

By establishing a good dentist-patient relationship when a child is young, we can dispel many of the common fears surrounding the dentist, and encourage a lifetime commitment to oral health. The experienced dental team at Signature Smiles is happy to prepare parents for what to expect at your child’s first visit to the dentist at our Woodinville, WA practice.

When to Schedule the First Dental Visit

Many people tend to assume that a dental visit does not need to be scheduled until after the full set of primary teeth, or “baby” teeth have grown in. However, a child does not typically have all 20 of the primary teeth until they are at least three years old, and that is a little late to be scheduling a child’s first dental appointment. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first dental visit should be scheduled within six months of the first tooth appearing, or by their first birthday.

What to Expect

It is understandably nerve-wracking to think about bringing a child to his or her first dental appointment. We take special care to ensure our young patients are completely comfortable throughout their visit. We use a gentle touch and explain each step of the dental visit to avoid creating any stress or fear for the child or parents.

In most cases, the child will sit in the parents lap for the duration of the visit to further ensure that he or she feels safe and comfortable. During the visit, our dentists will examine the child’s teeth and jaw to determine if they are growing and maturing properly. The mouth will also be examined for any cavities, oral injuries, or other signs of dental complications.

After visually examining the mouth, the teeth will be gently cleaned. This is a pain-free procedure that will not involve any metal scrapers. Finally, the dentist will provide tips for good oral practices at home. Once the first visit is complete, routine exams and cleanings should continue to be scheduled once every six months.

Benefits of Pediatric Dentistry

If a child starts seeing the dentist regularly at a young age, it will become a normal and expected practice. Children who undergo professional dental care routinely, starting at the age of one, are less likely to have a fear of the dentist and are more likely to have good oral health. Aside from the benefits of professional dental cleanings, young dental patients are more likely to practice good oral hygiene habits using proper techniques that they have learned from the dentist. These techniques and habits will grow with children, providing them with a lifelong commitment to good oral health.

Schedule an Appointment

If it is time to schedule your child’s first dental visit, you can rest assured knowing that you and your child will be in good hands at Signature Smiles. Our experienced pediatric dentist will provide your child with quality dental care in a safe and comfortable environment. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to start your child on the road to good dental health.

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