Pediatric dental exams offer the best protection against abnormal tooth alignment, gum disease, and other dental conditions in children. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), parents should schedule their child's first dental exam six months after the first tooth erupts or before their first birthday.
Keep reading to find out what happens during your child's first dental exam.
The Dentist Gets to Bond with Your Child
Your child's first dental visit doesn't necessarily involve any treatment. For the most part, this appointment is all about helping your child feel comfortable around the pediatric dentist.
The first child dental exam is typically short and gives the dentist a chance to know your child better. In fact, experienced pediatric dentists know how to deal with nervous children to help them relax before their next visit.
Depending on your child's temperament, the first visit may see the dentist play with your child or show them around the office to make the experience a bit more positive.
The Dentist Examines and Cleans Your Child's Teeth
Depending on how old your child is, the first visit may include a full evaluation of the teeth, gums, and oral tissues to establish the presence of tooth decay or gum diseases.
The first visit doesn't usually involve X-rays since baby teeth will eventually fall out. And if needed, a pediatric dentist may clean your child's teeth and treat them with fluoride or sealant to remove plaque and tartar. This process is crucial because plaque and tartar can lead to severe tooth decay.
The Dentist Educates You About Your Child's Oral Health and Diet
During your first child dental exam, you should expect your pediatric dentist to educate you on the best practices to care for your child's oral health. They will teach you how to brush and floss your child's tiny teeth properly.
Additionally, they will inform you of the best diet and feeding practices, teething, and the effects of habits such as thumb-sucking. Your pediatric dentist may also ask you a series of questions to rule out any risk factors that could impact your child's oral health. Based on your responses, the dentist will develop a complete prevention strategy specifically tailored for your child.
Don't hesitate to ask your pediatric dentist any questions you might have during the first pediatric dental exam. You'll be surprised to know that simple adjustments to your child's dental hygiene and food habits can greatly impact their overall dental health.
After your child's first dental exam, your dentist will likely schedule a follow-up dental check-up. Sometimes, your pediatric dentist could schedule subsequent visits every few months just to build on your child's confidence. This way, you won't have to worry about surprise oral infections or other serious dental issues.
For more information, reach out to pediatric dental specialists near you.