By Kate Ranta on Jul 22, 2014 @ 04:19 PM
Good dental health is important from a very early age. When you see your baby's first tooth, you can start brushing it with a soft-bristled toothbrush that has a small head. You can use a toothbrush that is specially designed for infants. But when should your child's first dental appointment happen?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child's first visit to a dentist should occur when the first tooth appears, or no later than your child's first birthday. Many parents take their infants to their own dentist, or you can find a pediatric dentist who is more familiar with children and their unique needs.
Your child's first dental visit will probably be very short. You will likely be asked to hold your child while the dentist examines his mouth. The dentist will check your infant's teeth for decay, and examine his jaw, bite and gums. The dentist will also talk with you about good hygiene practices, and will answer any questions you might have.
Your infant probably won’t be aware enough at the first visit to be afraid. However, he may show some anxiety in subsequent visits. You can ease these fears by remaining positive and calm about the dentist and keeping details simple—starting from the first visit. You can say something like, “The dentist is going to check your smile and count your teeth!” You can also get picture books to read in order to prepare before visits.
Your dentist will let you know when your child's next appointment should be, based on the state of your child's teeth. Most appointments are six months apart, as long as no big problems are seen.
Be sure to keep up with the at-home care and dentist visits so your child will have a healthy smile for many years to come.