What’s the Right Age to Start Seeing a Dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should have their initial appointment with a dentist around the time of their first birthday. This may seem early for many parents, but even infants can experience dental issues.
As soon as their first tooth emerges, your child is at risk for tooth decay. During their first visit, our Swansea dentists will work with you to develop a strategy to care for your child’s smile. Children have unique dental needs and we’ll create an at-home care routine to make sure their smile stays healthy.
If your child’s first tooth has already emerged, it’s time for them to visit the dentist. We recommend calling (618) 236-0501 to schedule an appointment at Corner Stone Dental in Swansea. Together, we’ll set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
How to Prepare
Your child’s first appointment can be stressful. This isn’t surprising, especially since many adults feel apprehensive about seeing the dentist themselves. Fortunately, everybody at Corner Stone Dental enjoys kids, and we’ll make your time here as pleasant as possible for you and your child.
Here are some things you can do to help make your child’s first visit a success:
- Bring another adult along — Sometimes children have difficulty sitting still. And it can be difficult to comfort your child while you’re speaking with the dentist. Having another adult along to assist your child allows you to focus on what your child’s dentist has to say.
- Leave your other children at home — Other children can distract you and the child at the appointment. If possible, leaving your other kids out of the appointment allows you to be completely focused on the child who’s receiving care.
- Avoid disturbing words — Our staff is trained to avoid the use of distressing language such as “drills,” “needles,” and “injections.” Using positive language about dentistry around your children can help them view it in a better light.
- Use children’s books about dentistry to put your child at ease — Anxiety can be reduced if your child knows what to expect. Age-appropriate books about visiting the dentist can be helpful and make the visit seem fun. Explaining how the dentist helps kids without delving into too much detail can also be beneficial for your child.
Our dentists use the principles of child psychology to reduce your child’s anxiety. And we take active measures to make your child feel at ease during their visit.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Visit
The first thing we’ll do is get acquainted with your child. We’ll also go over your child’s health history with you. This may include questions about their pacifier use, general development, and diet. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to ask questions and express any concerns you may have about your child’s development.
We’ll make sure that your child is comfortable and that they can see you at all times during their visit. In addition to performing a complete dental examination, your child’s dentist will provide advice and demonstrations on effective home care for your child’s smile, proper sippy cup use, and the right age for your child to start using fluoride toothpaste.
Following your child’s examination, the dentist will describe the state of your child’s oral health and make specific recommendations for their dental care. For example, we can give you a heads-up about which teeth may be emerging soon. This is also a good time to schedule future appointments for your child.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you may even want to bring your child to the dentist before the age of three. As soon as your child’s first tooth grows in, they can begin to develop cavities. Early dental visits are important not only to protect your child’s teeth but to familiarize them with the dental office.
Yes, if your child has a cavity, it should be filled. Even though baby teeth are temporary, they can still cause health problems if the infection is left untreated. It’s still important to care for these teeth even though they’ll fall out.