At Westgrove Dental, we love providing a dental home for patients of all ages. But we have to admit; there is just something special about baby’s very first visit with us!
Children should visit a pediatric dentist by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth erupting, whichever comes first. When you build a relationship with a dentist for your child at this young age, it allows your child to form a bond and understand that visiting the dentist is normal and nothing to be anxious about.
It might seem silly to bring your baby to the dentist, but as soon as your child has teeth, those teeth are susceptible to cavities.
So, what should you expect at your child’s first visit with one of our pediatric dentists?
At your child’s first dental visit, our pediatric dentists will be checking to ensure the teeth and jaws are developing properly. We typically have the parent sit in the chair and hold the child on the lap to help the child feel comfortable. We will check for cavities or any other issues; then, we’ll gently clean the teeth and offer some at-home care tips.
Our pediatric dentists have a few tips to help set you and your child at ease during the visit:
- Don’t schedule your child’s visit during a typical nap time. We want your child to be well-rested and ready for the visit, so schedule the appointment at a time that won’t interfere with nap schedules.
- Make sure your child eats and then brushes their teeth before the visit. This way, your child won’t be hungry during the visit.
- Talk about the visit leading up to it, using positive words and affirmations of it being a fun and happy experience. For older children and toddlers, you can show books about their favorite characters visiting the dentist.
- Don’t worry if your child is fidgety during their visit! We know it’s hard for little ones to sit still, so we promise we are patient while your child is acclimating to the new experience.
It’s important to begin good oral care routines early, so your children know they are a part of being healthy. Early childhood cavities are very common, but the good news is they are preventable! Follow these tips to keep your baby’s mouth healthy before their first visit:
- You can begin cleaning your baby’s mouth a few days after birth. Simply use a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth to gently clean the gums.
- When your child’s teeth first begin to erupt, use a small toothbrush to begin cleaning them. Only a small amount of toothpaste is needed since your child won’t be able to spit it out yet.
- Once your child has two teeth that touch, begin to gently clean between the teeth, as well.
- Once your child reaches three years of age or can spit on their own, begin using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth twice a day.
- Continue helping your child brush until you are confident your child can successfully brush on their own