Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth, and tooth decay in primary teeth could mean a higher risk of decay in permanent teeth in adulthood. It is therefore important to schedule your child’s first hygiene visit at an early age. While some pediatric dentists like to see a child six months after their first tooth erupts, we usually see our “smaller” patients anytime between their 2nd and 3rd birthday.
We know how impressionable young children are, so it’s important that parents set a good example for their little ones. If you have dental fears and phobias, try not to relay these to your children, as they too, may develop fears.
To prepare your child for their first visit, start by reading them books about going to the dentist. Visit your local library to get your hands on some of our staff favorites, including:
When scheduling your own six-month hygiene visit, inform our staff that you are bringing in your little one. We can pull up a pint-sized chair for them so that they can watch, and at the end of your appointment, April, Katie, or Alison will have them hop in the chair to count their teeth. This is a great way to help them get used to the idea of being at the dentist.
Leading up to your child’s first “official” visit, let them know what to expect at our practice. While in our patient lounge, they can play with some of the awesome toys in our toy chest! The hygienist will bring them back, have them take a seat in our chair, and let them choose a pair of sunglasses to wear. She will then count teeth, clean and polish them, and let them hold on to Mr. Thirsty. At the end of the cleaning, Dr. Ryan or Dr. Jim will come in to take one final look. Following the appointment, your little one can choose a toy to take home, and if no cavities are present, be featured in our Cavity Free Club!
After the excitement of going to the dentist wears off, maintaining proper hygiene at home can sometimes prove difficult. Ensuring your child brushes using a fluoride toothpaste (get a lower dose if your child swallows it) at least twice a day and flosses (we love these Wild Flossers from Johnson and Johnson) is imperative for a happy, healthy smile. If your little one needs some additional motivation, check out these apps for iPhone and Android: