Paediatric dentists recommend taking your child to the dentist before their first birthday. This will get them used to the idea of visiting a children’s dental practice and give the dentist an opportunity to teach the parents about good oral hygiene. The absolute maximum age for a first visit is two years.
What will happen at your child’s dental checkup?
Expect the first dentist appointment to be short and informal ? more of a meet and greet for your child and the dentist. Depending on your child?s age and comfort level, you may be asked to hold him while the dentist pokes around his mouth. Or you may be asked to hang back in the waiting room so your toddler can have some quality time to get to know the dentist and staff on his own.
As for the business of inspecting your tot?s teeth, the dentist will check for decay and take a look at your child?s gums, jaw, and bite. The dentist or the hygienist may clean your child?s teeth and apply a fluoride preparation (particularly if there is a stain or a high risk of cavities) or he or she may save that for the next visit. Chances are, the dentist will talk to you about good oral-hygiene habits ? and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about toddler teething, thumb sucking, tooth-friendly foods, or anything else that pertains to your toddler?s oral health. You may want to bring a list of your questions to the appointment so that you remember them when you?ve got the dentist?s attention.
How often to visit the dentist?
Based on how your toddler?s teeth look, your dentist will let you know when to make the next visit. Most experts recommend that toddlers see the dentist about every six months ? as long as there are no major problems. So don?t forget to schedule your child?s second appointment on your way out the door!