What should I expect at my child’s first dental appointment?

Although babies don’t sport a full set of teeth by their first birthdays, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t need to see the dentist until all of the baby teeth have come in.

The best dentists in Dallas recommend that the initial dental appointment take place shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than your child’s first birthday.

Seeing the dentist at such a young age ensures that your child’s case is being monitored for any concerns before they develop into significant problems. It also gives the parent a chance to address any concerns or ask any lingering questions about the child’s oral health.

If you’re worried that your child’s first dental exam will be traumatic, put those concerns to rest. The appointment will be brief, probably less than a half-hour. It won’t involve any invasive interventions, just an exam and possibly a cleaning, if indicated.

Before scheduling the appointment, you should check to make sure that the dentist is comfortable treating children. A pediatric specialist is a good choice but may not be necessary.

Certain techniques and strategies can be used with pediatric patients to put them at ease. You want to choose dental professionals who are familiar with these techniques and comfortable using them.

To a certain extent, your child’s age and situation may influence what will take place during the appointment. If you schedule the appointment at the recommended age, then the focus will be on the visual inspection of the teeth, which may also need to be cleaned gently if they’ve accumulated any plaque or tartar.

If you wait until all of the teeth come in or even until the first baby tooth is lost, then your child may have a longer appointment with more in-depth examination and treatments. Your child may also need more follow up appointments if a problem is diagnosed.

Giving your child the opportunity to experience dental care at a young age will help him or her to develop positive feelings about dental appointments and can help to prevent fearful reactions later. Schedule an initial visit around the time of your child’s first birthday to get a good start on a lifetime of oral health.