I have been asked countless times when is a good time to take a child to their first dental checkup. Well, I have done some research and asked a few of our amazing doctors and I have an answer for you.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry said it pretty well when they said, “first visit by first birthday”. I know, taking a one year old to the dentist might seem a little silly, but let me explain.
Why so early?
There are several reasons to take a baby/toddler to the dentist. The first and most important of those is beginning a thorough preventative program. Early Childhood Caries (aka Baby Bottle Tooth Decay) is a major concern for kids, especially when the child’s diet expands from breast-milk/formula to foods and juices. There are steps that can be taken to help prevent this and other serious dental issues in the future.
Also, starting very young will help your child become more comfortable with the dentist and all the wonderful things they do for us. With the help of parents/adults, the dentist office can become a place of familiarity and fun.
Should thumb and finger sucking be a concern?
Thumb sucking is a perfectly normal habit for infants, but most stop by age 2. If the habit continues to age 3, the child could experience crooked teeth or even bite problems. If you are concerned about your child sucking their thumb too much your friendly Dental Depot dentist will be happy to suggest ways to address the issue with you.
What can you expect at your first visit?
During the exam, your dentist will most likely check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay. Also, they should check the child’s bite, gums, jaw, and oral tissue. If needed, the dentist or hygienist will clean any teeth and assess the need for fluoride.
The doctor will also talk with you about basic oral health for children, including but not limited to:
- Cavity Prevention
- Fluoride Needs
- Oral Habits (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking)
- Developmental Milestones
- Proper Nutrition
- Appointment Scheduling (Generally every 6 months)
If you have any more questions you can ask your friendly Dental Depot Dentist, or refer to http://www.aapd.org/.
We know you have a choice when choosing a dentist or orthodontist in Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Moore, Yukon, Tulsa, Dallas, Edmond, Highland Village, and Phoenix and we thank you for making Dental Depot your partner in good oral health!