Steps To Your Baby’s First Dental Visit
It is very important to get your children comfortable with going to the dentist early on in life. You will even see their first primary (baby) tooth as early as 6 months old. The American Dental Association recommends that by a child’s first birthday they should visit the dentist. Before taking your baby for that first visit you need to take a few things into consideration. First of all you need to check with your insurance company to see when they start covering your child’s dental visit. Some insurance doesn’t go into effect until they are at least 2 years old. Then you need to find the right pediatric dentist that fits your child’s needs. After looking up potential dentists in your area you should call the dental office with a few key questions.
(Check out this website www.aapd.org and click on find a pediatric dentist or your insurance may have a website to check) First, double check what insurance they accept sometimes an office can drop insurances before it registers online. Second, at what age does the dentist see children because some pediatric offices don’t take patients until they are at least 3 years old when they get all of their primary teeth in. Third, you need to ask and figure out if you are comfortable with an office that doesn’t allow the parent to go back with their child during their checkup or dental work that needs to be done. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. You may also want to request paperwork to be mailed to you to fill out prior to the visit to save time if possible.
Once you have found a pediatric office that fits your child’s dental needs its time to prepare for the visit. Make a list of any questions or concerns you have about your child’s teeth. Also get your child excited about their first visit through educational materials such as books, videos, or coloring activities depending on their age. I recommend checking out your local library for books and online for videos and free printable coloring activities. (Check out this website for some fun games and educational links for parents http://www.colgate.com/app/Kids-World/US/HomePage.cvsp )
It’s important to focus on the fun parts of going to the dentist when talking to your kids. Usually when going to a pediatric dental office you may be surprised at how dentistry has changed for children. Pediatric dental offices nowadays offer much more than just a free toothbrush. Some offices may be decorated and painted in vibrant colors and have TV’s for your child to watch cartoons on in the waiting room and sometimes even in the exam room itself. Free toys or balloons are also sometimes given to good patients.
Now you’re ready to take your child to their first dental visit. Make sure you bring something to comfort your child whether it is their favorite blanket, toy or book. Also you might want to bring a small snack or activity for your child to have while in the waiting room. During the first exam the dentist will go over health history and any of your concerns. This will be followed by a visual exam if the patient is under 3 years old called a knee to knee exam. Usually the dentist will have you place your child facing you on your lap with their legs on either side placing their head safely in the dentists lap to check the teeth for any signs of tooth decay.
After the visual exam usually the dentist will give you instructions on good oral hygiene habits and nutrition. Note: Typically, x-rays aren’t taken until your child is 3 years old and it also depends on your insurance. After their first visit children usually go to the dentist for their next visit 6 months to a year after. By taking your kids to the dentist on a regular basis and starting at a young age you will raise their chances of having good oral hygiene habits for the rest of their life.
As it is the first time you are taking your baby to the dentist, it is better that you visit the dental conference 2020 where you can consult experts in this regard as its best to exercise caution.