American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that children who are at risk of early childhood cavities visit a pediatric dentist by age one.
Most parents I have seen in the practice and even during training do not seen to understand the reason for early dental visits. Recent studies have shown that cavities are increasing in preschool-aged children and kids may have cavities as early as two.
To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child's risk of developing cavities. They also need to learn how to manage diet, hygiene and fluoride to prevent problems.
The purpose of the pediatric dental visit is about your child's oral health and how to best care for your child's unique needs before any problems occur. Many dental problems can be prevented or more easily treated in the early stages. At this first visit, you will get your questions answered and start to build a relationship.
The best way to prepare for this visit is to consider what you want to know, what you want to look for and what you should expect.
Bring an extra diaper and snack for your child. Also bring a favorite toy, blanket or other familiar object. This will help your child to know that the dental office is a comfortable and safe place.
To save time and make the first visit easier, ask the office staff to mail you all the forms you will need to fill out. Most of these can be filled online. The forms may offer the chance to list questions or concerns that you want to discuss at the visit.
First Dental visit of child is similar to a well-baby check at the physician's office.
Thoroughly examine your child's mouth in the knee-to-knee position. You and the dentist sit on chairs facing each other. Your child sits on your lap, facing you. You then lay your child back with his or her head in the dentist's lap. In this position, both you and dentist can see clearly into your child's mouth and your child can look up at you.
Show how to clean your child's teeth and give you a chance to practice.
Give specific advice about home care, including hygiene, diet and use of toothpaste and other fluorides.
Tell you what to expect as your child grows and develops in the coming months.
Suggest a schedule for follow-up care.
The dentist or hygienist may also clean your child's teeth. This is likely to occur if your child's teeth have a stain that commonly appears in infants. The dentist or hygienist also may apply fluoride, particularly if your child has a higher than average risk of developing cavities.
You should have your questions answered. You also should know what you and we as your dentist can do together to make sure your child has excellent oral health.