Your babies health is one of your biggest priorities and starting a lifetime of their good habits begins with you.
Learn when and how to prepare for your Barbie’s first dental visit.
Dental Care is Crucial During the First Year of Life. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend a dental visit for children by age one.
The Importance of Child Dental Visits Before 1 Years Old
Proper care for baby teeth is imperative as they serve several critical functions, including:
- Fostering good nutrition by permitting proper chewing
- Aiding speech development
- Helping proper development of permanent teeth by saving space for them
Baby teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay from their very first appearance, on average between the ages of six and 12 months.
The associative pain of tooth decay can prevent a child from eating correctly, impacting overall health and development. Additionally, undetected and untreated tooth decay can lead to infection, loss of teeth and expensive and mostly preventable emergency and restorative interventions.
A scientific paper in the journal Pediatric Dentistry revealed that children who wait to have their first dental visit until age two or three are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits.
Pediatric dentists can detect early tooth decay, provide parents with information on proper oral and facial development, determine fluoride needs and more.
How to Prepare
Start early! To get your child ready for the visit, talk to him or her about what’s going to happen and be positive. Have your child practice opening his or her mouth to get them ready for when the dentist counts and checks their teeth. Reading books or watching videos about first dental visits may help your child be less fearful and more confident.
Learn more about Your Baby’s First Teeth in our short article.
Make a list of questions, as well. If your child is teething, sucking his or her thumb or using a pacifier too much.
Tips for a Great Visit
- Don’t schedule an appointment during nap time. Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
- Make sure your child has had a light meal and brushes their teeth before their appointment so they won’t be hungry during their visit.
- Save snacks for after the visit so they aren’t on your child’s teeth during the exam.
What to Expect During the Visit
The dentist will examine your child to make sure their jaw and teeth are developing in the way they should. During the visit, you will be seated in the dental chair with your child on your lap if your child isn’t able to — or doesn’t want to — sit in the chair alone. The dentist will check for mouth injuries, cavities or other issues. Once that part of the exam is over, the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and give you tips for daily care.
If your child cries a little or wiggles during the exam, don’t worry. It’s normal, and your dental team understands this is a new experience for your child!
How soon will your baby need their first visit?