What Should My Child Expect for Their First Visit?

When you look back on your childhood, you probably remember losing your first teeth and waking up to a shiny quarter under your pillow in the morning. Your toothbrushes featured cartoon characters, and the toothpaste tasted like candy. 

But pediatric dentistry is much more than brushing your child’s teeth. It is a serious matter, and if you take a look at the numbers, it’s easy to understand why.

Untreated cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the United States, with approximately 20% of children aged 5-11 having at least one untreated decayed tooth. 

Dr. Benjamin J. Crowley and Dr. Diane Iachini at Brightwork Family Dentistry don’t want your child to be another statistic. We believe that the best way to help your child avoid future oral health problems is to establish a regular dental hygiene routine as early as possible, which includes regular visits to our team. 

Here’s a closer look at pediatric dentistry and what you and your child can expect from their first visit. 

What is pediatric dentistry?

Our pediatric dentists are specially trained to address the unique oral health needs of children from infancy through their teen years. We provide comprehensive oral care that includes:

We also help your child manage oral health issues that can stem from other conditions such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, a short frenulum, and pediatric periodontal disease. 

When should I start taking my child to the dentist?

We recommend that you schedule your child’s first dentist visit around the age of three and then every six months throughout their childhood. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment sooner if an issue comes up.

You might wonder why we encourage you to bring your child in to have us inspect teeth that will eventually fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth. But the fact is, your child’s primary teeth are actually extremely important. 

Primary teeth facilitate proper speaking and chewing and are crucial to the eventual development of your child’s permanent teeth. That’s why we strongly encourage all parents to schedule age-appropriate dentist visits for their children. 

What will the first visit be like?

We do everything we can to make sure that your child’s first visit is a positive experience. Our main goal during the first visit is to build your child’s confidence and comfort level. 

Your child will meet our friendly staff, get to know the names of our dental tools, and take a ride in one of our dentist chairs. 

Once they feel comfortable, we’ll perform a general examination of their mouth. Your child’s dentist checks for frenum issues, gum problems, and bottle caries (cavities), as well as the structure of their mouth. That includes examining the jaw and bite, looking closely for any potential teeth alignment or speech problems. 

During this first examination, we may ask you to hold your child to keep them calm and comfortable. By the second visit, we may ask you to step out of the room to establish a sense of independence in your child. 

One of the last steps of your child’s first dentist visit is a discussion about oral hygiene. We’ll answer all of your questions and give you the best tips and tricks to help you support your child’s oral health. 

How can I prepare?

Preparation for your child’s first dentist visit doesn’t start a day or even a week before their appointment — it starts as soon as they’ve developed their first teeth. We recommend introducing the concept of oral hygiene early on in your child’s development and commit to brushing their teeth daily. 

You can also help the first visit go smoothly by talking to your child about the dentist in a positive way. Getting them excited about oral health now will set them up for optimal oral health in the future.

If your child is ready for their first dentist visit, you can schedule one at our Richmond, Virginia, office online or over the phone. 

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