If not properly addressed, tooth decay can result in pain, which may affect your child’s appetite, speech, and overall well-being. As such, the American Dental Association encourages parents to bring their children to a pediatric dentist as soon as their first birthday. Here is a checklist of what to expect during your child’s first visit to the dentist, as described by pediatric dentistry experts in South Bend, Indiana.
- Prepare your child prior to their first visit to a dentist. Orient them about the dentist’s role — someone who will be looking at their teeth, making sure they are clean and healthy.
- The first thing both you and child can expect on the first visit is the full dental examination. The dentist will examine the teeth, gums, and mouth. This is to check, diagnose and treat possible oral health issues your child may have.
- At home, parents must instill in children the habit of brushing using fluoride toothpaste. You may introduce flossing once their permanent teeth have grown. Food particles caught in between the teeth and gums might lead to the growth of bacteria or plaque when not removed.
- The next part of your child’s regular dental health checkup will be a thorough cleaning of the teeth, gums, and mouth. The pediatric dentist will scrape built-up plaque and tartar along and below the gums. These cause oral health issues such as cavities and bad breath.
- Lastly, ask your dentist for professional advice, and educate your child on the importance of maintaining good oral health. The dentist can demonstrate the proper ways of cleaning your teeth and gums.
Moving forward, discuss with your pediatric dentist the next steps in your child’s professional oral care, and schedule routine oral health services such as x-ray, sealants, fluoride and periodontal treatments.