You already know how important proper oral hygiene is for you, and how crucial your twice-yearly dental visits are. Did you know that your child’s oral care is just as important? Your child’s mouth is constantly growing and developing. Because of this, their oral health care needs are a little different than yours. They need a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry. At National Dental Oakland Gardens, we can provide this specialized care for your child. Here is what you should expect with their first visit.
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD FIRST BE SEEN?
Your child’s first visit should be done earlier than you probably think. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that your child be seen six months after the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday.
PEDIATRIC DENTIST VS GENERAL DENTIST
Technically, a regular general dentist could take care of your child’s mouth. All dentists, regardless of what they practice, complete four years of dental schooling and training. However, dentists who specialize in something, whether it is orthodontics, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, or pediatric dentistry, receive additional training. Our pediatric dentists complete an additional two years of education and training. We are experienced in child behavior, as well as the treatment and management of your child’s mouth and the special needs involved in children’s dentistry.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Generally speaking, your child’s first visit will be relatively short. To make your child comfortable, we may ask that you sit in the chair, and hold your child in your lap. We will take a look inside your child’s mouth, examining their teeth and their gums. We will also check their other oral tissues, as well as the alignment of their jaw. If necessary, we will give their teeth a quick cleaning, removing any buildup that may have collected.
After the examination has been completed, we will sit down with you and answer any questions you may have. We will also talk about several things, which may include:
- Any relevant issues we may have discovered.
- Brushing techniques.
- How to best prevent cavities.
- Fluoride treatments.
- Developmental milestones that your child will achieve.
- Oral habits such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking.
- Proper nutrition.
- Setting up regular visits for your child. Just like you, twice-yearly dental visits will help to provide your child with the best results possible.
WHAT ABOUT DENTAL X-RAYS?
Dental X-rays for your child will usually be completed by the age of 6, about the time their first permanent teeth start to make their appearance. There is no set age at which they have to be taken. When your child’s X-rays are taken will ultimately depend upon their specific needs. A child who is more prone to cavities and other oral health issues will, in general, have their first X-rays before a child who does not have these same issues. At National Dental, we use digital X-rays, which significantly reduce your child’s exposure to radiation. The X-rays are valuable tools in providing your child with the best possible oral care, allowing us to monitor the health of their teeth and jawbone, as well as spot potential issues early.
With proper care now, we can help set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. If it’s time for your child’s first visit, contact National Dental Oakland Gardens today at (718) 407-0574!