As your little one gets older, you’ll look back and reflect on certain milestones in his or her life. One of them will be the first dental visit, which sets an important precedent for his or her oral health. When should you take your child in for the first appointment, though? Furthermore, what should you expect to happen? These questions are answered by your family dentist as you continue reading.
When to Schedule the First Dental Visit
As a general rule of thumb, you should schedule your child’s initial dental visit around age three. This “Happy Visit” allows your child to adjust to the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the dental office, which helps him or her get off to the right oral health start.
It’s important to be proactive at this point by visiting a dentist because once your child starts eating solid foods, he or she becomes more susceptible to developing cavities.
What to Expect at the First Visit
Typically, at the first appointment, the following two things happen:
- Your child will be put at ease by first being greeted by one of the friendly staff members.
- The dentist will perform a tooth inspection and periodontal exam to identify any tooth decay and to make sure that your child’s teeth are developing properly.
Providing a Foundation for Future Oral Health
In addition to providing a thorough examination, your dentist will give you pointers on what can be done at home to encourage better oral health, which includes techniques for brushing and flossing. Additionally, the dentist may recommend dental sealants as a precautionary measure, which leave your child three times less likely to develop cavities.
The sealants are thin coatings of fluoride that are applied to your child’s teeth and help to attract minerals to strengthen the tooth enamel (the hard, outer surface of the teeth). The primary purpose of these treatments is to prevent the development of cavities, a problem that can become more prevalent as your child later goes to school and you have less control over the types of foods he or she consumes throughout the day.
Truly a “Happy Visit”
The initial visit to your child’s dentist is truly a happy time because it is the first step toward a life of excellent oral health. To schedule your little one for an appointment, simply reach out to your local dentist today!
About the Author
For nearly 40 years, Dr. Mark M. Farthing has been a fixture in the Indianapolis area. A graduate of Indiana University School of Dentistry, he has remained dedicated to learning, which is why he has received postgraduate training from the prestigious Dawson Academy. Dr. Farthing helps children get off to the right oral health start at Indianapolis Family Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.