The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children visit the dentist by age one. The most important reason to begin this early is to begin a thorough prevention program by teaching you the best ways to provide the proper oral care for your child.

Your child’s first visit to the dental office needs to be a positive experience. The pediatric dental office environment is geared directly to making your child feel comfortable. The office is populated with their peers so it is normally a less threatening environment than they may encounter in an office where only adults may be present. Also, in case a child needs restorative care, the pediatric dentist is highly trained in techniques so that treatment can be accomplished safely and quickly with minimal emotional stress to your child.

At your child’s first visit, the main emphasis will be on teaching you how best to take care of your child’s teeth. A big concern is called early childhood caries (also known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Children risk severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously (on-demand or at will feeding) from the breast. Drinking juice, soda or tea from a bottle should be avoided and when juice is offered it should be from a cup. Before the teeth come in, a soft cloth can be used to massage the gums and then after the teeth appear, a soft infant toothbrush and water can be used to brush the teeth. Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they appear. The sooner the better! Do not use fluoridated toothpaste until your child is able to successfully spit out the toothpaste every time (usually around 3 years old).

If your child is apprehensive about the first visit, we allow a complimentary walk-through first visit where the child can come to the office and observe what goes on. Subsequent visits can then be scheduled so that the child is gradually introduced to necessary treatments.

Early introduction to professional dental care is the key to a lifetime of good oral health. A positive first visit is the first step to prevention of dental disease, early intervention of problems and development of trust in the dental professionals.

We look forward to meeting you at your first visit!


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