Sometimes it’s hard for parents to know when their child needs to see a dentist for the first time. Sadly, many children don’t see a dentist until they are well past two years of age. This is much later than what is recommended by dental professionals like Dr. Attar. Children need to see a pediatric dentist by the time they are a year of age if they have not already begun to get their baby teeth. However, most children begin to get their first teeth earlier than that. They should see a dental professional within the first six months of getting their first teeth.
Overview of a Child’s First-time Visit to a Pediatric Dentist
The first visit to a dentist is not so much about doing any dental work. It’s more about introducing the child to the dental office and getting them used to being in that environment. Dr. Attar will take a quick look at their teeth after they are comfortable with him. But the first visit accomplishes these four things.
- The baby becomes familiar with the office environment in a way that is non-threatening. This allows them to build trust.
- The baby and parents are introduced to new terminology used in the dental office. For example, the dentist may use uncommon, non-medical terms for much of the equipment to make them more kid-friendly and remove some fear.
- The dentist can do a quick exam of the baby’s jaw, bite, gums, and teeth if they’ve appeared already. He can check for signs of bottle-caused issues like cavities or problems that might affect patterns in the teeth or speech.
- A pediatric dentist can discuss good oral hygiene practices with the parents and answer any questions they may have about dental care for their small child.
How Often Do Children Need to See the Dentist?
After the initial visit, children should see a pediatric dentist every six months. Of course, if a problem or issue comes up, they can see Dr. Attar in between. Issues might include teeth grinding, a lisp, or if the child starts breathing out of their mouth instead of their nose. The dentist will continue to build on each visit. For instance, on the second visit, Dr. Attar may count their teeth or help them brush their teeth. On the next visit, he may add fluoride treatment, etc.
Sometimes, parents are asked to hold their children while the dentist looks in their mouths. After the first visit, if the parent and child are more comfortable, the parent may be asked to step out so the toddler is allowed to gain a sense of independence and confidence. By the time the child turns three years old, they will have full dental appointments. X-rays begin at five years of age as long as the child can handle them.
Benefits of Early Dental Visits
There are many benefits for children and parents who begin pediatric dental visits early. The risk of decay begins with a child’s first tooth. Early appointments allow dentists to keep a close watch on a child’s dental health. With each visit, children get positive rewards and become more comfortable with the process. Dental visits can help parents establish good home oral care with children. This is a practice that will benefit them for a lifetime.
Make Your Child’s First Appointment Today!
Parents don’t hesitate to keep routine wellness visits with a pediatrician. Routine visits with a pediatric dentist are just as valuable when it comes to a child’s oral health needs. Call today to schedule your child’s visit with Dr. Attar.