When Should A Child’s First Visit Occur?
Early Infant Oral Wellness Visit
Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AADP) all recommend establishing a “dental home” for your child before at 6 months of age or around the time his/her first tooth begins to show.
Baby teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay from their very first appearance, on average between the ages of six and twelve months. Undetected and untreated tooth decay can lead to infection, loss of teeth and expensive and mostly preventable emergency and restorative visits. Additionally, the pain of tooth decay can prevent a child from eating correctly, impacting overall health and development.
A scientific paper in the journal of 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.
What Happens At The Early Infant Oral Wellness Visit?
The purpose of the first dental visit is to learn about your child’s oral health and how to best care for your child’s unique needs before any problems occur. Many dental problems can be prevented or more easily treated in the early stages. It’s important to establish a relationship with a pediatric dentist that you trust and an office where you and your child feel comfortable.
The early infant care oral wellness visit is similar to the well-baby check at your pediatrician’s office. The visits are kept fun and informative and tailored to your child’s needs and ability to cooperate. At this visit Dr. Wendell and our pediatric hygienist will:
- Review your child’s history
- Discuss your child’s overall health including: tooth development, teething, soft tissue health, bite, and oral habits.
- Perform a cavity risk assessment and discuss factors that affect your child’s direct risk of developing cavities such as diet, hygiene practices, fluoride use and family cavity history.
- Answer and questions or concerns you may have.
- In a gentle caring manner, thoroughly examine your child’s mouth.
- Show how to clean your child’s teeth.
- Give specific advice regarding home care including: hygiene, diet and use toothpaste and other fluorides.
- Tell you what to expect as your child grows and develops in the coming months.
- Suggest follow-up care.
- The dentist or hygienist may perform a limited cleaning or apply fluoride varnish if your child has a increased risk of developing cavities.
At the end of this visit, you’ll have a clear idea about your child’s oral development, your child’s risk for cavities, expected growth and development milestones, and be well equipped with the information and tools to keep your healthy and child cavity free.
To Schedule Your Child’s Appointment: