your child’s first dental appointment
Dr. Pounds believes in introducing children to the dental office at an early age, even if it’s just accompanying a parent to their own cleaning, and sitting for a moment in the dental chair. Your child’s first dental visit should be just after his or her first birthday.
The first dental visit is usually short, and involves very little treatment. We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination. If your child is older, you may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and our team.
We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums). We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay.
We will also review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth at home, and make sure there is adequate fluoride protection.
Preparing your Child for their First Visit
The dental office should never be a frightening or scary place. You can prepare your child for their first visit by doing the following:
- Take your child for a "preview tour" of our dental office.
- Read books with them about going to the dentist.
- Tell them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
- Speak positively about your own dental experiences.
For children with anxiety, special needs or extensive treatment requirements, Dr. Pounds may recommend a local pediatric dental specialist.
Your Child’s Dental Progression
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are usually the two bottom front teeth. You will notice these when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth, and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.
By around 2 1/2 years old, your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.
Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are dictate their chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene, as well as keeping all regularly scheduled appointments with Dr. Pounds.
Call us today to schedule your son or daughter’s next dental visit.