First Dental Visit for Kids
As a new parent, you celebrate many firsts in your baby’s life: The first smile. The first giggle. The first tooth. These are just a few of the exciting milestones you’ll capture in baby books and pictures.
When your baby’s first tooth erupts, which can happen as early as 6 months, it’s also time for another milestone: your child’s first dental visit. Once a baby tooth appears, it’s important to start cavity prevention. Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout childhood can affect your child’s overall health and academic success.
As a pediatric dentist, I recommend all children have their first dental visit after their first tooth appears or by their first birthday.
Establish a dental home for your child.
The top benefit to visiting the dentist early is establishing a dental home so your child can feel comfortable. Your child grows up knowing our office, our dental assistants and how to take care of their teeth. My main goal is to give children a positive experience so they’re set up for success in their dental visits for the rest of their life.
At Konikoff Kids, our office is specifically designed to make visiting the dentist a fun experience – from our sunny, beach theme to our movie room built just for children. We also keep iPads in our waiting room and TVs above every dental chair. All these things encourage children to come back for their regular dental visits. As a result, they can avoid many dental concerns through prevention.
Tips for brushing and flossing your child’s teeth.
During the first dental appointment, we answer a lot of your questions. We go over how to take care of your child’s baby teeth and how much toothpaste to use. We only take X-rays if it is indicated.
We also teach you how to brush your child’s teeth from a seated position. Brushing is much more effective when parents sit on the floor with their legs out in a V-shape and have their child lay back into their lap. Using this position provides stability and access to the teeth.
Relax, we specialize in children’s dentistry.
It’s natural to be a little nervous the first time you bring your baby to the dentist. We totally get it – it’s your baby! At the same time, it’s important to remember that all children pick up on any anxiety their parent might be experiencing. If you can relax, your child is more likely to stay calm, too.
As a pediatric dental practice, we employ several techniques and tricks to keep kids calm during all their visits. You can help keep your child’s visit stress-free by maintaining a positive attitude about the dentist. If you’ve had a negative dental event in the past, sharing that information with your child can backfire if they need treatment. Your child will have a better experience if they’re not coming to the appointment anticipating any pain or shots.
Protect your child’s health.
Establishing a dental home goes a long way toward protecting your child’s overall health. Children who have dental problems often experience discomfort. It can affect their ability to focus in school or take in adequate nutrition. Infections in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body if not treated.
It’s always better to maintain preventive care than to treat dental issues as they occur.
Dr. Amy Namsupak is a pediatric dentist with Konikoff Kids, a pediatric dentistry practice in Virginia Beach, Va. Dr. Namsupak is accepting new patients under the age of 18.
Call 757-961-4000 to schedule an appointment or request one online.