At Granger Pediatric dentistry, we follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, AAPD. We recommend that children create a dental home by the time they are 12 months old. In simple terms, this means seeing a pediatric dentist 6 months after the first tooth has erupted and no later than 12 months old.
What to Expect During Your Baby’s First Visit
We view a baby’s first dental appointment very similar to that of first physician appointments in that we want to do an overall check of the child’s mouth. We will check for symmetry, tooth eruption, and make sure the development is right on track.
Most of the appointment will be spent educating the parents on the importance of dental hygiene and oral health in babies and toddlers. We like to discuss how teaching your child these healthy habits very young can help them maintain a healthy mouth as they get older. It is important to get your child used to the feeling of brushing and flossing very young rather than waiting until they are toddlers. Even if they don’t have many teeth yet they can get used to the routine.
In addition to oral health, the first appointment will also consist of a discussion about bottle feeding, breastfeeding, sippy cup use, and pacifier use and how to prevent any of these from contributing to tooth decay in their babies. Unfortunately, we do see a lot of cases where kids ages one to three have cavities and are in need of restorations and crowns. We will also provide parents with a folder consisting of information about introducing their kids to brushing and flossing.
Education is Most Important
The primary goal of the first dentist appointment is to educate the parents and make sure we answer all their questions and help make sure they understand the importance of starting their baby off right with their brand new teeth.