Child First Dental Visits: When and What to Expect at a Pediatric Dentist
Early dental care is an extremely important part of your child’s health. Keeping teeth and gums in healthy condition is important not only for a happy and healthy smile, but part of their overall health. Some common questions many parents have are when to visit the dentist, who is the best pediatric dentist, and where to find a pediatric dentist that accepts Medicaid.
When to Visit the Dentist
When should your child first see a dentist? You can take your child at a younger age, but experts recommend taking him or her within 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months at the latest.
During a child first dentist visit, the dentist can give you information on:
- Baby bottle tooth decay
- Infant feeding practices
- Mouth cleaning
- Pacifier habits
- Finger-sucking habits
It is best to 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.
Moms and dads can prepare for a child first dentist visit too. When making the appointment, ask for any necessary patient forms ahead of time and about the dental services we provide. It may be quicker and easier for you to fill them out at home instead of at the office on the day of your visit.
During a child’s first dentist visit, you can prepare a list of questions, as well. If your child is teething, sucking his or her thumb, or using a pacifier too much, your dentist can offer some advice.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dentist Visit
Your child’s first dental visit will greatly help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. It is recommended to schedule your child’s first dentist visit by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in. The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes.
Depending on your child’s age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. If needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains.
The dentist may show you and your child proper home cleaning such as flossing, and advise you on the need for fluoride. Baby teeth fall out, so X-rays aren’t often done. But your child’s dentist may recommend X-rays to diagnose decay, depending on your child’s age. X-rays are also used to see if the root of a jammed baby tooth may be affecting an adult tooth. In general, it is best that young children not have dental X-rays unless absolutely needed.
PRO TIP: Scheduling Your Child’s First Dentist Visit
If possible, schedule a morning appointment when young children are typically more alert and in a good mood.
After The Dentist Appointment
Just like adults, children should see the dentist every 6 months. Some dentists may schedule visits more often, such as every 3 months. This can build comfort and establish a relationship between your child and their pediatric dentist. More frequent visits can also help keep an eye on a development problem.
Tips for Protecting Your Children’s Teeth
- Before teeth come in, clean gums with a clean, damp cloth.
- Start brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) when your child’s first tooth appears. Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste after 3 years of age. This is when the child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
- Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Don’t give children a bottle of milk, juice, or sweetened liquid at bedtime or when put down to nap.
- Limit the time your child has a bottle. Your child should empty a bottle in 5 to 6 minutes or less.
- Help your child brush his or her own teeth until age 7 or 8. Have the child watch you brush, and follow the same brushing pattern to reduce missed spots.
- Limit foods and treats that increase tooth decay. This includes hard or sticky candies, fruit leather, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit rather than juice. The fiber in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean. Juice will expose your child’s teeth to sugar.
How to Find a Pediatric Dentist in Wichita?
Looking for a pediatric dentist in Wichita for your child’s first dentist visit? Asking family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations can be a great way to find a good Wichita dentist for kids. Family and friends can give you trustworthy information and lead you in the right direction fast. Another way to find a toddler dentist is to ask your child’s pediatrician for their suggestion.
HealthCore Clinic knows healthy teeth and gums aren’t just something to smile about, they’re an important part of screening for a variety of health issues. We have a number of dentists who specialize in pediatric care for your baby, toddler, or child. HealthCore accepts KanCare / Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and private insurance. We offer sliding scale fees and prescription assistance for those not covered by insurance.
- When to Visit the DentistWithin 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months at the latest.
- Pediatric Dentist in WichitaSearching for a “pediatric dentist near me?” HealthCore Clinic has dentists parents have claimed is the “best pediatric dentist!” Check out our list of dental providers.
- Wichita Dentist for KidsWhether you are searching for “child dentist Wichita” or “toddler dentist Wichita,” HealthCore has you covered. Visit our Dental Info Page to learn more.
- Pediatric Dentist That Accepts MedicaidHealthCore accepts KanCare / Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP and private insurance. Click here to learn more.