What will happen during the first dental visit?
A child’s first dental visit is an important step towards good oral hygiene! This visit should happen between six and 12 months. There are many benefits of starting routine dental visits at this age:
- Familiarity – Children become familiar with what happens in a dental visit such as exam, cleaning, and fluoride treatment.
- Build Trust – Starting early helps build trust between child and dentist as the child learns what to expect from a dental visit.
- Prevention – Prevention is key to a healthy mouth and happy child! The dentist can examine child’s mouth for decay, proper development, and any abnormalities.
- Oral Hygiene – Establishing good oral hygiene habits early will provide a strong foundation for a growing child.
- Parental Education – Parents will be instructed in the following:
- Proper oral hygiene technique
- Diet and oral habits that positively and negatively effect tooth development
- Fluoride use to help strengthen primary teeth
- At Alligator Dental our goal is to assist parents in establishing a foundation for their child’s healthy mouth – and to make going to the dentist A LOT MORE FUN!
The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. Since they are so young, we do what is called a lap exam. Our dentist and the parent will sit facing each other. The infant is positioned so that his or her head is cradled in the dentist’s lap. This position allows the parent to hold their child, and the infant is able to look at the parent during the examination. We will do a gentle cleaning and apply fluoride.
Gator Care Timeline
The first tooth usually erupts between 6-9 months of age. How-ever there is a wide range of tooth eruption and it is
not unusual for a child to have delayed eruption of teeth. When your child is teething he or she will be restless. may drool, gums may be sensitive. may have a low-grade fever and diarrhea. Treatment can include – massaging sore gums with a finger or teething rings, placing ice or frozen rings on gum areas. The best remedy is your child’s pediatric dose of Tylenol or fever reducing medication for pain. Orajel type products may work for a short period time, but are not recommended due to overuse.
Proper oral hygiene should be instituted as early as when the first tooth comes into the mouth. Gums may be wiped clean with a damp washcloth until teeth begin to erupt. At that point teeth and gums should be brushed with a soft bristled brush twice a day with a very thin smear of fluoride toothpaste. It is normal for the child to swallow the toothpaste at this age. Our doctors will demonstrate the proper amount during the child’s first visit. The brushing and toothpaste will remove plaque and begin also to strengthen the teeth as they mature. Plaque will form on any tooth and the gum pads around them causing potential inflammation and teething discomfort.
Dental problems can begin very early. The primary cause of dental decay in young children is nursing or baby bottle tooth decay. A baby may get severe decay when he or she nurses constantly from the breast or a bottle containing milk or juice during bedtime or naps. A child should not be put to bed With a bottle of milk, juice, or sweetened liquid. If a bottle is used, only water should be used. A pacifier is preferable. It is recommended to stop bottle or breastfeeding by one year of age.
Here is a list of parent and dentist-approved books:
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist – by Stan and Jan Berenstain.
- Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist – Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series.
- Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi.
- Elmo Visits the Dentist – Part of the “Sesame Street” Series.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s first dental visit, please contact our office.