There’s something so special about a baby’s first smile. It melts your heart. You’d do anything to see that smile again and again. One of the most important things you can do to keep your child smiling is to make sure they have healthy teeth and gums. This not only includes helping your child develop a good oral care routine while they’re young, but it also ensures they get the dental care needed. During teething, parents often wonder when they should schedule their baby’s first dental visit, how to prepare, and what to expect. We’ve answered your most important questions on scheduling your baby’s first dental visit.
When to Make the First Appointment
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it’s essential for your baby to have the first dental visit by age one or within six months after that first tooth is in. It’s best not to wait after their first birthday.
What to Expect from Your Baby’s First Visit
That first visit is more about getting your child used to the office. These appointments are usually quick and straightforward. Your pediatric dentist will want to count your baby’s teeth and examine them for any signs of decay. The dentist will do a quick check of your baby’s bite and look for any potential problems with the jaws, gums, or other oral tissues. Don’t worry if your baby fusses or cries a bit. Dentists that work with children regularly understand that your baby is having a new experience, and they’ll work with you to keep your baby as happy and comfortable as possible.
One of the best things about getting to that first dental visit is that your dentist can offer you plenty of information on teething, feeding practices, developing good oral hygiene habits and more. You’ll also find out when it’s best to schedule the next appointment for your child.
Preparing Your Baby for the Dentist’s Office
Most babies aren’t thrilled with strangers touching them or holding them, so it’s a good idea to work on preparing your baby for that first visit to the dentist’s office. Even though your baby may not even be talking yet, it’s a great idea to look at dental picture books for kids together or read your baby a simple story about going to the dentist. You can also practice counting and examining your baby’s teeth so they get used to fingers being in their mouth. Parents may also want to prepare for the appointment by filling out any necessary forms ahead of the visit. It’s often simpler to deal with forms at home instead of trying to deal with them when you have your baby at the dentist.
A Few Tips to Remember for the Best Visit
You’ll want to take a few measures to ensure that your baby has the best possible first visit. A few tips that can help keep the dental visit hassle-free include:
- Tip #1 – Avoid scheduling the dental appointment during your child’s naptime.
- Tip #2 – Make sure your baby eats before having that visit so they won’t be hungry and cranky during the exam.
- Tip #3 – Work to make sure you’re calm and look at the appointment as a fun and happy experience. If you’re anxious, your baby may notice.
- Tip #4 – Write down any questions you want to ask the dentist.
- Tip #5 – Be sure to have a list of any medications your baby is taking.
The experienced pediatric dentistry team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is dedicated to compassionate and gentle dental care for kids, along with great support for parents. You can arrange your child’s appointment at one of the two convenient locations in the Orlando area through the online contact form or by calling the Maitland office at (407) 628-2286 or the St. Cloud office at (407) 593-8900 today. The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida team looks forward to seeing you and your child soon!