Even though most babies don't get any teeth until they reach 6 months of age, we recommend coming in for an initial visit before the child turns one to ensure their teeth and gums are properly cleaned and cared for.
Your child should have their first dental visit by the time they turn one or two. During this visit, Dr. Victoria or Dr. Rodriguez will remove built-up plaque and food debris stuck in their teeth. This stops the growth of bacteria, thus preventing other dental diseases such as tooth decay or gum inflammation. We recommend making your trips to the dentist a fun adventure that your child will enjoy.
What will Happen at my Child's First Dental Visit?
Your child's first visit to the dentist most likely won't take very long and won't involve much treatment. During this initial visit, we want to meet your child in a friendly manner where they won't feel afraid. Parents can stay in the waiting room during the examination so we can build a relationship with your child. We also give parents the option of sitting in the dental chair and holding their child while the exam is conducted.
What Happens during the Dental Exam?
Dr. Victoria or Dr. Rodriguez will examine your child's teeth to look for decay, check the alignment of your child's bite and search for any potential complications with the jaw, gums, and oral tissues. She will also remove plaque and food residue from your child's teeth. Then she will inform you about the basics of dental care for toddlers and children, discuss any potential future problems and answer any questions you might have.
You can expect Dr. Victoria or Dr. Rodriguez to explain proper oral hygiene for your child's gums and teeth, as well as how to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities. We'll also discuss proper nutrition for your child, developmental milestones, and oral habits like teething, thumb sucking, lip sucking, and tongue thrusting.
Finally, we will schedule future check-ups. We want to see your kids at least once every six months so we can increase their comfort level when they come to the dentist. We also want to regularly check how their teeth are developing and address any complications before they develop any further.
During your child's first visit, we will have you complete some health and medical forms regarding the child, so please come prepared with the information we request.
When should my Child get their First Dental X-Ray?
There is no black-and-white criterion for when dental x-rays should begin. Certain children who are at an increased risk for dental problems should have x-rays taken earlier. Examples of dental problems include children with cleft lip or palate and those vulnerable to baby bottle tooth decay.
But if your child does not have any of these complications, they should have their first set of dental x-rays taken around age 5 or 6 because this is when the adult teeth will begin to emerge. X-rays have an important role to play in helping us monitor the growth of the adult teeth, check for misaligned bites, and determine the health of your child's teeth.
For more information, please contact our office at 256-712-4080.
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