July 30, 2021
To keep your child’s oral health in pristine condition from their first gummy grin to their beautiful smile in their senior portraits, biannual visits with their pediatric dentist are essential. After all, these appointments will monitor their development, keep an eye out for any dental problems, and ensure any issues that do arise (like tooth decay) are treated swiftly. But when should these bi-yearly visits begin? Keep reading for the answer!
So, When Should You Bring Your Child in for a Dental Checkup?
Your child should come in for their first visit with their pediatric dentist when their first tooth emerges or by their first birthday (whichever one comes first). This appointment is pretty short because it’s designed to get your little one familiar with the office, discuss how to care for their smile, and answer any questions you have. After this visit, you’ll bring them back every six months so their pediatric dentist can monitor their development!
How to Prepare for the Appointment
It’s natural for your little one to have some reservations in a new environment filled with new people. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prepare them:
- Bring them with you to your biannual checkups and cleanings.
- Introduce the concept of going to the dentist through fun books and educational videos.
- Have your child practice opening and closing their mouth so it’s not so scary when their dentist asks them to do it.
- Ask if you can fill out any forms online to make the appointment quicker.
- Make a list of questions beforehand about anything pertaining to your child’s oral health, including thumb-sucking, pacifier usage, and how to clean their gums.
5 Tips for a Smooth Appointment
The last thing you want is for your child to be grumpy and uncooperative during their dental appointment. To help prevent that from happening, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t schedule an appointment during naptime.
- Give them a tour of the office beforehand.
- Make sure your child eats before their visit.
- Use happy words, making the experience as stress-free as possible.
- Bring along a fun toy or comforting blanket.
Your child’s teeth help them smile, bite, and communicate clearly throughout the years. While they’re young, they’ll need all the help they can get to keep them in pristine condition. So, in addition to implementing a solid at-home oral hygiene routine, start bringing them in for their six-month checkups and cleanings at a young age!
About the Author
Dr. Maggie Davis completed her Doctor of Dental Medicine and pediatric residency at the University of Florida. Today, she is a board-certified pediatric dentist and a Diplomate in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry! However, what truly sets her apart from the rest is her genuine care for her patients and passion for helping growing smiles. To provide families nearby with the absolute best, she maintains an active membership with multiple notable organizations, including the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. If it’s time for your little one’s first appointment, don’t hesitate to visit her website or give her a call at 727-786-7551.
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