The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that your child’s first dental visit be on or before his or her first birthday. You may be wondering what we do at a first visit and why it’s so important to start early. So here is an overview of what we do and talk about during those early visits. ORAL DEVELOPMENT - A lot of changes happen in a child’s mouth from when they are born until they get their full set of baby teeth. It is important for us to let parents know what to expect. We will talk about timing of new teeth coming in, what to expect when they are erupting, and how many of them are left to come in. Dr. Lindhorst or Dr. Jadav will show you if your child has any variations of normal with their teeth and what that means for your child such as teeth that have extreme sizes, missing or extra teeth. By starting early, we can let you know if we see any early signs of decay. Many times, when we see these very early signs, we can suggest diet or oral hygiene changes that can prevent having to do treatment on these teeth. Aside from his or her teeth, we will be checking the tongue, cheeks, jaws, and tonsils. We want to make sure every aspect of your child’s mouth, bite, and jaws look healthy!
ORAL HYGIENE - Parents often ask when to start brushing and how to brush their little ones. We will review and demonstrate when to start, how to position them, and what toothpaste to use. At our office, we rate oral hygiene on a scale from 1-5 with 5 being the best. That way, you can see how well you are brushing at home.
DIET – Diet plays a major component in cavity formation. For babies, we will review bottle use. For toddlers, we talk about gummy snacks, sippy cups, and juices. For older kids, we will review the types of foods (ooey, gooey, sticky) to try to avoid. Sippy cups, juices, and candy are just a few of the nutrition topics we will cover.
HABITS - We will talk about habits that your little one may have like thumb sucking, a pacifier use, or nail biting. Although a lot of these habits are age appropriate, we will review long term changes that they can cause in terms of his or her bite and when is a good time to wean the kids off of them. We will also discuss in detail methods and tools that can help parents facilitate this process.
TRAUMA - We will review what to do if and when your child ever has any trauma to the teeth. It’s very common as the kids are starting to walk, run and climb and we want parents to know what to look for, when to call us, or when to come see us in the office.
Most of all, we want you and your child to be very comfortable here. The more your child visits for these early, easy "well baby" appointments, the more likely that he or she will realize that coming to the dentist is fun! We can’t wait to meet your little one!
Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry