You already know how important it is to take good care of your mouth. You brush and floss your teeth every day, and you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined regularly. Did you know that all of these same habits are just as important for your child? Many parents, however, are often confused as to when their child should have their first dental visit. OHIOSmiles is here to help.
When Should My Child Have Their First Visit?
Many parents are unsure of when they should bring their child in for their first dental visit, and many are surprised to find out just how early that age is. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should be brought in for their very first dental visit six months following the eruption of their first baby tooth or by their first birthday, whichever one occurs first. Even if your child has no teeth by their first birthday, they should still come in for their first visit.
What To Expect
The first visit and the next few following are generally quick appointments. The goal of these early visits is to get your child comfortable with coming to the dentist. Your child gets to know us, and we get to know you and your child. We want your child to feel safe and comfortable in our office, which will allow us to provide them with the best possible oral care.
At the first appointment, we take a very quick look inside their mouth. This allows us to view any teeth that are present and clean them if necessary. After a quick evaluation of their mouth, we then take the rest of the time to discuss with you. Topics that may be covered include:
- Any issues we notice.
- Oral hygiene practices at home for your child.
- Cavity prevention, such as fluoride treatments.
- Tips for dealing with teething.
- Oral habits, such as thumb sucking and pacifier use.
- Foods for a healthy mouth.
- Any concerns that you might have.
After the examination is over, we then get you set up for the next appointment. Just like you, your child should be seen every six months.
Are X-Rays Taken During The First Visit?
In general, x-rays are not taken at the first appointment. They may be recommended in special situations, such as a cleft palate. For healthy children, the first x-rays are taken around the age of 6, right when the baby teeth begin to fall out, and the adult teeth begin to erupt. With x-rays, we can monitor the growth and development of the teeth and jaws, monitor how the teeth erupt and spot any potential issues before they become serious. x-rays are also an important part of early orthodontic evaluations, which allow us to spot orthodontic issues and create a customized treatment plan that ensures your child the best possible outcome.
By starting your child with routine dental visits at an early age, you can help to make the process easier as they get older and help to set them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene habits. For more information, and to schedule an appointment for your child, call OHIOSmiles at (740) 439-2501 today.