Dental visits are an important component of preventative oral health care — regular dental visits starting during pregnancy ensure your child a lifetime of better oral and overall health
See your dentist regularly during pregnancy
Infancy & Early Childhood
Have two to three years additional education after dental school
Your child should begin regular visits to a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, no later than 12 months of age. The dental office you choose can serve as your child’s Dental Home throughout childhood. The dentist will provide comprehensive, individualized care in a familiar, safe, and accessible setting. During your child’s first visit, your dentist will…
Examine your child’s mouth, checking for cavities and potential problems with teeth and gums
Teach you how to care for your child’s teeth and gums
Help you understand your child’s oral development
Examine how diet and feeding patterns can cause decay
Check to be sure your child gets the proper amount of fluoride
Help address problems like prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use after age four
Schedule a return visit based on your child’s oral health needs
Do not postpone preventative care for your special needs baby — your pediatric dentist can help
How often should a child see the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene. Your pediatric dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.
Why visit the dentist twice per year when my child has never had a cavity?
Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve your child’s brushing and floss- ing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums.
Tooth decay is not the only reason for a dental visit. Your pediatric dentist provides an ongoing assess- ment of changes in your child’s oral health. For example, your child may need additional fluoride, dietary changes or sealants for ideal dental health. The pediatric dentist may identify orthodontic prob- lems and suggest treatment to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.
What happens in a dental check-up?
The pediatric dentist will review your child’s medical and dental history. He or she will gently examine your child’s teeth, oral tissues and jaws. The teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of a fluoride solution.
Your pediatric dentist will not just talk to you about dental health, he or she will talk to your child with easily understandable words, pictures and ideas. Your child will be motivated to take responsibility for a healthy smile.