You already know how important routine brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental visits, are for you. However, did you know that these habits are just as important for your child as well? Your child’s mouth is undergoing several changes and developments and continues to do so until their late teen years. For your child’s mouth to develop properly, specialized dental care is required. At National Dental Sunnyside, we can provide your child with that care, helping them develop healthy habits now so that their mouth is strong and healthy in their adult years. This care starts young. Here’s what you can expect from your child’s very first visit.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEDIATRIC AND GENERAL DENTISTS?
All dentists attend four years of dental school. Specialists, including pediatric dentists, go on to attend an extra 2 to 3 years of education and training. Technically, a general dentist could provide care for a child, but our pediatric dentists specialize in the care and treatment of children’s mouths. We are trained in child behavior and the specific oral health needs of your child’s mouth. We are also able to care for the mouths of children with special needs.
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD HAVE THEIR FIRST VISIT?
Your child’s very first dental visit should be sooner than you probably think. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should have their first dental exam six months following the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday, whichever one comes first.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE FIRST VISIT?
Your child’s first visit is quite short. When we bring you back to the exam room, we may ask you to sit in the chair and hold your child on your lap. This will help them to feel more comfortable in a new environment. We will take a quick look inside your child’s mouth, taking a look at any teeth they have, along with their gum tissue. We will also take a look at their jaw, assessing the alignment. We can clean your child’s teeth, if necessary.
Following the brief exam, we will have a discussion with you. Topics we may touch on include:
- Any issues we may have noticed in their mouth, or concerns we might have.
- How to properly brush their teeth.
- The benefits of fluoride treatments.
- Nutrition for healthy teeth and gums.
- Developmental milestones.
- Any habits your child might have, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting
- The importance of regular 6-month dental visits. These visits are not only beneficial to their oral health, but they also help to establish their trust in us.
DO YOU TAKE X-RAYS?
Your child will have their first set of X-rays by the time they are six years old. This is when the permanent teeth begin to make their appearance. There is no set appointment at which these X-rays should be done. Children who are more prone to cavities or other oral health issues will have X-rays taken earlier than children who do not have these problems. At National Dental, we use digital X-rays, which reduce your child’s radiation exposure up to 95%.
If it’s time for your child’s first dental visit, call National Dental Sunnyside at (718) 925-3365 to schedule their appointment today.