Your Child’s First Visit To The Dentist

For the first time, leading a child to the dentist is recommended at the age of about 6 months or at the moment when the first tooth erupts. The child’s first visit to the dentist is more aimed at parents, as the doctor will tell you how to take care of the baby’s teeth, and also explain to parents how baby nutrition affects the health of the teeth and oral cavity.

At the age of 1 and 1.5 years. At this time, the dentist can see the so-called bottle caries (if a child under the age of 71 months has at least one carious, torn or sealed tooth) and eliminate it in a timely manner. The causes of caries are most often prolonged or even continuous nightly breastfeeding or from a bottle. Upper incisors are the first teeth that begin to deteriorate from the inside, so parents should regularly inspect the teeth from all sides. For preventive purposes, it is recommended to visit the CedarsSinai dentist twice a year.

At the age of 2 and 2.5 years. At this age, for the prevention of the child, one should not only go to the dentist, but also begin to visit a hygienist - at the age of 2.5–3 years or at the moment when the child has erupted all milk teeth and he is ready to meet with another specialist in dental health (in this case, with a hygienist).

At the age of 3 years. At this age, most of the children erupted all milk teeth - a total of 20 teeth. At the time when the child already has all the teeth in his mouth, the dentist, when evaluating them, can determine whether the baby has any problems with a bite. The sooner you identify a problem bite, the faster the dentist can calculate when it will be necessary to begin the correction of the bite, and will direct him to the orthodontist.

How can parents prepare their child for these visits?

First of all, it is very important to bring the child to the dentist for the first examination so that he makes friends with a specialist, and not in order to provide urgent care to a sick tooth. The first visit should be fun and fun. Parents need to explain to the child what exactly will happen at the dentist's office. If the parents themselves are afraid of the dentist, do not pass these discomfort to the child. Parental support during the first visits will serve the child as a positive experience for subsequent visits.

It will be very useful to watch with your child some cognitive material about teeth, their care, etc. Role games will also amuse: the dentist is the patient. Ask your child what he is afraid of in connection with these visits. It will be a big mistake to promise the child that "They will not do anything to you," "It will not hurt you at all," and make other similar promises. Examination of teeth is also an action, therefore, “how else they will do it!”. Young children often do not distinguish pain from pressure, so even a slightly stronger touch can be perceived as pain. To make the child feel safe, let him take some favorite toy with him, soft thing or blanket. Explain the meaning of the words that he can hear during the visit, for example, caries, gums, x-rays, etc. Do not tell your child about your negative experiences with visiting a dentist that you acquired as a child. Do not pass your fear to the child. Be careful what you say.

What do the dentist and hygienist do during their first visits?

The first visit should be informative and as short as possible - major manipulations should be avoided. The child should meet the dentist in a friendly environment, without unpleasant treatment, tooth extraction, etc. It is better to choose a time when the child is full of energy and alert, and not when he is tired or wants to sleep. Depending on the child’s age and comfort level, parents may be asked to hold the child on their lap or wait in the waiting room to improve contact between the child and the dentist.