What To Expect From Your Child's First Dental Visit

When your baby's first tooth starts to come in, you will need to visit the pediatric dentist. These first appointments are important as they help your child get used to seeing the dentist, and allow your child to grow up with proper oral health. Here are some things to expect from the very first dental visit.

The Child is First Introduced to Dental Staff

During the first part of your child's pediatric visit, they will be introduced to the dentist and possibly the hygienist during this time as well. The dentist sits with your child and gets to know them, asking them questions, and speaking in a quiet, calm voice. The dentist might talk to your child about their teeth that are coming in and how to take care of them. Dentists often provide books or videos specifically for young children to learn more about oral hygiene and good oral habits. This is to help the child become familiar with the dentist and feel more comfortable, instead of going straight to the chair for the exam.

The Initial Exam

After talking to your child for a few minutes, the dentist will then have them sit in the chair and get the exam. Depending on the age and comfort level of your child, they might sit on your lap for these first visits. Since your child likely doesn't have many teeth at this point, the first exam is easy and painless. The dentist is very gently going to look at the teeth that are coming in, as well as examine the inside of their mouth. They will look for signs of thrush and other oral conditions that toddlers often get. They will also look at their gums for signs of issues or to see if other teeth will be erupting soon.

Cleaning the Teeth

Your pediatric dentist might also decide to clean the teeth during the first dental visit. This very first cleaning is often done by the dentist instead of a dental hygienist. The dentist will want to remove any bacteria or plaque found on the tooth, though at this point, it should be minimal. They will then use a rotary toothbrush to polish the teeth. Adding fluoride to the surface of the teeth is frequently done during these cleaning appointments since it provides a protective layer over the teeth, which helps to avoid decay and plaque buildup.

It is a good idea to find a pediatric dentist early so you can meet them and make sure they are a good option for you and your child.