The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first visit to a dentist happens within their first year. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future. This initial pediatric visit will establish a dental home for your child.
Dr. Frank Sierra explains that, the most important reason for the early visit is to begin a prevention program as some dental problems can begin early. A big concern is early childhood caries (also known as baby bottle tooth decay). When this occurs sometimes the only possible treatment is extractions. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing future dental problems."
At the this first appointment, the doctor will complete a thorough exam of your child's mouth. If necessary, the doctor will take a few minor radiographs if he or she suspects an underlying issue. Parents are encouraged to ask questions!
The first dental visit also lets parents discuss and learn about:
- Children's oral habits, including finger and thumb sucking
- How to care for their infant's or toddler's mouth
- Proper use of fluoride
- The link between diet and oral health
- Ways to prevent childhood accidents that could damage the face and teeth
- Teething and what to expect in the coming months
It is recommended that children have a dental check-up every 6 months. Some cases of tooth decay, unusual growth and development, or poor hygiene may require additional visits. The doctor will review each case individually and create a proper schedule specific to your child.
If you have any questions about your child's first dental visit, be sure to contact our clinical staff. A lifetime of smiles starts in a child's first year.