Your first visit

 

The first dental visit is a very exciting time for a child and their parents. 

The first step begins at home, with you.  We would like to offer a few suggestions that will ensure that your child's first visit with us will be a positive experience.  We suggest that you speak very positive and excited about their first visit and explain that we will be "counting and shining" their teeth and we may need to "take pictures" of their teeth.  


We recommend that we see your child for their "first appointment" around their first birthday, unless you have concerns or an emergency arises before then.  You and your child will meet with our Treatment Coordinator, who will assist you through your entire first visit to our office.  


Early Dental Care

Normally the first tooth erupts between ages 6 to 12 months.  Gums are sore, tender and sometimes irritable until the age of 3.  Rubbing sore gums gently with a clean finger, the back of a cold spoon or a cold, wet cloth helps soothe the gums.  Teething rings work well, but teething biscuits should be used sparingly as they contain sugar, which may lead to decay.   

While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay.  Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines.  A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant's mouth while sleeping can cause decay.  


When to schedule your first dental visit?

The state of California found that 61% of children in 3rd grade have tooth decay.  Nearly half of all children in kindergarten have experienced some form of tooth decay.  

This is why children should have their first dental exam by their first birthday.  This is supported by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association.  Consider it a "Well Baby" check-up for teeth.  

The old fashiond recomendation still held by some doctors was to wait until age three or even five.  For many children, waiting this late may mean expensive and time-consuming dental treatment.