Your Child’s First Visit
Your child should start seeing a dentist regularly after their 3rd birthday.
Generally, the first dental visit is short and involves little treatment. Depending on the situation you may be asked to sit in the chair and hold your child or we will ask you to wait in the reception area. If asked to sit in the reception area it is because we want your child to build a relationship with Dr. Helfner or Dr. Curro.
The visit starts with a gentle examination of the child’s teeth and gums. X-rays are taken on a case by case basis. If x-rays are to be performed it is just to reveal any decay or to check on the progress of the permanent teeth under the gums. A thorough cleaning and topical fluoride application will typically be performed to prevent any decay. At the end of the visit we will go over with you and your child proper oral care.
What to prepare your child for before the visit
Look at their first dental visit like their first haircut. Prepare them in the same way you would for any “first” experience. There are some ‘First Visit Tips’ to help you out:
- Bring your child for a tour of the office
- Read books to them about dental visits
- Review with them what dentists do
- Speak positively about your own experiences
When you come in for the child’s first visit, the dentist will:
- Examine the child’s mouth, teeth, and gums
- Evaluate any habits (thumb sucking)
- Evaluate any need for fluoride
- Teach them proper oral care habits
By using the latest in dental technology we break the connection with children and tooth decay. Our technology helps to prevent decay from forming or continuing in your child’s mouth. Our office uses the newest dental sealant technology to set the base for your child’s lifetime of good oral health. We provide dental sealants of space-age plastics that bond to the chewing surface of the decay-prone teeth.
Cavities typically form from a lack of brushing or a high sugar diet. While brushing regularly and eliminating sugar in your diet can help, there are more things to look out for in your child’s habits. The saliva consistency affects the growth of cavities. Thinner saliva makes food wash away quicker and breaks up the food faster.
Here are some tips to help prevent cavities:
- Limit frequency of meals and snacks
- Encourage brushing, flossing, rinsing habits
- Watch what your children drink
- Avoid sticky foods
- Make treats a part of the meal
- Choose nutritious snacks
Children’s developmental rates are different so don’t set a timeline for their teeth grow. The first baby teeth are typically the two bottom front teeth, they come in around the 6-8 month mark. The next set are the 4 upper front teeth. After that, they start to randomly sprout. By the time your child is 2 ½ years old, all 20 teeth should be there. Between ages 5 and 6 the permanent teeth will begin to come through.