It is important that children that visiting the dentist when they get their very first tooth. This is typically at age one or two. Dr. Ann Kirol, here at Carolina Smile Design, is a pediatric dentist who sees patients of all ages and will make your child feel at ease.
First Visit at the Pediatric Dentist
What can you expect at a first visit? Typically, the goal of the first visit is to get your child familiar with the practice and to have a positive association with it. We will show them around, introduce them to various instruments and let them have a ride in the chair.
After your child feels comfortable, we will look for decay in a quick examination. We will then check your child’s gums, jaw, and bite, keeping an eye out for bottle caries, frenum issues, or other problems that may affect teeth or speech patterns. We will also talk with you about good oral hygiene and allow you to ask any questions you may have. You are welcome to bring a list of questions with you to the appointment.
After the first visit onward, we recommend children come in every six months, unless an issue comes up that needs correction, such as a lisp, teeth grinding or mouth breathing. Depending on your child’s comfort level, you may be asked to hold your child while we take a look in his/her mouth. After the first visit, you may be asked to step outside to give your toddler a chance to get to know the dentist and staff on his/her own.
Full dental appointments with our pediatric dentist start around age 3 and X-rays will be taken at five years of age depending on the comfort level of the child.
Parent’s Role in Child’s Dental Health
At any age, it’s important to remember the role you, as a parent, play in promoting positive dental experiences and outcomes. It is important that you practice good dental hygiene yourself. And when it comes to appointments and dental visits, it is a good practice to avoid words that might scare your child such as pain and drill. We make sure to avoid using these words at our office as well.
Another thing to consider when it comes to kids and dental health is the role of thumbs and pacifiers. If these are over-used, children could experience dental problems like protruding teeth or teeth that don’t erupt properly. We encourage all parents and caregivers to monitor the sucking habits of children, especially around the time permanent teeth come in.
You can care for your child’s dental health even before their first visit to the pediatric dentist! As infants, you should be brushing the child’s gums with a washcloth or soft-bristled brush and warm water. Once most of your child’s teeth have come in, you can begin using toothpaste. We advise brushing in small circles, counter-clockwise, using only a small amount of toothpaste. We recommend non-fluoridated toothpaste for children under two or children who can’t spit.
Cavities and decay can start early. So here are a few tips for prevention:
- Stop using bottle after your child is 1
- Never allow your child to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup
- Limit the juice and soda
- Snack healthfully
- Help your child brush his or her teeth twice daily until the age of eight. After 8, supervise their brushing
- Always brush your child’s teeth after he/she takes liquid medicine
If you want to make an appointment with our pediatric dentist, click here.