Along with the first words and the first day of school, another important milestone is a child’s first dental visit. The American Dental Association recommends that children get a checkup when the first tooth comes in or around their first birthday. These early visits with a kid’s dentist in Helena are very important to help your child feel comfortable in the dental chair, which makes it a lot easier for them to get routine care as adults. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of the first dental visit and find out what you can expect!
The Importance of Positive Experiences From Early On
Early checkups from around age 1 establish a lifetime of routine dental care. Although these visits won’t include X-rays or a cleaning until ages 3-5, they’re important for many reasons. First, habits that start in childhood persist into adulthood, so it’s critical to help a child feel comfortable and have a positive experience from the very beginning.
Also, starting dental care from age 1 is the best way to make sure the baby teeth stay healthy, which are important for many reasons. Some of these teeth remain in the mouth until age 11-12, so your child will need them to eat, speak, and smile with confidence for many years. Also, the baby teeth affect the development of the permanent teeth, so it’s important that they stay healthy for your child’s future smile as well.
What Can You Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit?
A big part of early checkups with kids is making the visit easy and fun, so your child’s comfort will be a top priority every step of the way. With that said, here’s what you can expect at the first visit with a kid’s dentist in Helena:
- First, your child’s medical and dental history will be reviewed and you’ll be asked if you have any questions or concerns.
- Prior to ages 3-5, checkups are very simple and primarily include a visual exam to make sure everything is normal and healthy. Some children are more comfortable sitting in their parent’s lap during their exam
- After the exam, a dentist will give you oral hygiene tips to prevent cavities, including which products to use and whether fluoridated toothpaste is appropriate.
- You’ll also learn about thumb-sucking and pacifier use, good feeding practices to prevent baby bottle syndrome, and teething.
- Finally, your child will pick out a toy and get a new toothbrush, which usually makes them eager to come back!
With routine dental care from the start, your child will have a great chance of having healthy, beautiful teeth for life.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Coplin is a kid’s dentist in Helena with nearly 20 years of experience who is dedicated to helping children achieve great oral health. With a warm, friendly chairside manner, he’s able to help children feel comfortable and at ease at every visit. If you have any questions about your child’s oral health, he can be contacted via his website.