Your child’s first dental visits enable the dentist to 1) detect early signs of potential tooth decay, 2) establish a good rapport with the child, and 3) begin orienting the child toward healthy dental habits.
Parents play an integral role in these visits, with the dentist and hygienist providing them with information on home care practices and the best ways to safeguard their child’s oral health.
When should I schedule my child’s first dental appointment?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first visit to the dentist within 6 months of getting in their first baby tooth (or before their first birthday). However, provided there are no particular concerns, many dentists recommend having the child brought in for a first visit around the age of 2 or 3. You can simply ask your dentist for an opinion.
Dental services for kids
Here are some of the typical dental services offered to children. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives you an overview of what child dentistry might entail.
Exams and check-ups – the doctor will examine your child’s teeth and gums, paying particular attention to signs of decay or other potential problems.
Cleanings – children should be given gentle cleanings and if old enough, they can be educated on good dental hygiene practices at home so that they can play their part in maintaining good oral health.
Sealants – dental sealants are a plastic material painted onto the teeth to help prevent tooth decay and cavities in children.
Fillings – many of today’s children are lucky enough to receive mercury-free, tooth-colored fillings. Dentists who routinely treat children may use numbing gels to help make fillings virtually painless.
Extractions – sometimes it is necessary for a child to have a tooth extracted. Ideally, you find a dental practice that prioritizes making your child’s visits as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Choosing the right dentist
Making the right choice of dentist can make a huge difference in the oral health of a child as well as the willingness to care properly for their teeth. Here are some things you may want to consider when choosing a family dentist:
- How experienced are the dentist and staff at dealing with children?
- Does the dental office present a safe and friendly environment?
- Do the dentist and staff appear to be patient?
- Will the dentist and staff take the needed time to explain things to my child?
- Does the dentist keep up with the latest technological advances?
- Does the dentist strive to use minimally invasive techniques?
- Does the practice provide office hours that fit in with our schedule?
Dr. Siegel has been practicing family dentistry for over 25 years. He understands how vital it is for your child to have a positive experience at the dentist. He and our friendly hygienists strive to create a relaxed and friendly environment for your child.