Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents take children to a dentist before their first birthday? This fact becomes less surprising once you realize more than 25% of children have developed at least one cavity before turning a mere four years old. Thus, it’s essential to start a dental routine as early as possible!

Once you’ve scheduled an appointment with your Tampa dentist, there are few ways you can prepare for your child’s first trip to the dental office. First, ask the office to email you any required forms and fill them out ahead of time. Secondly, expand your own knowledge of oral health problems. Our dental blog covers many vital dental topics. Third, set yourself up for success by reading and using the following advice.

The first piece of advice is to allow yourself to focus your attention on the dental visit by leaving any other small children at home.Also, consider bringing another adult along to provide assistance during the appointment. Some infants may enjoy the attention of a dental examination, but others may become fussy. It’s always a good idea to come prepared with baby snacks and diapers. Including a familiar toy or blanket can further help your child understand the dental office as a safe place.

Although your child’s first dental visit is often about education rather than treatment, it does include an examination. You will sit in a chair across from your dentist with your child facing you and sitting in your lap. As your child’s head is eased back into the dentist’s lap, he or she should still be able to see you while allowing the dentist a clear view to do his work.

Your Tampa dentist will assess your child’s bite and look for any potential gum or jaw issues. Additionally, each existing baby tooth will be checked for tooth decay. If tooth stains or decay are found during this first appointment, a dental cleaning will be performed and a fluoride treatment may be suggested. Before leaving, make sure your dentist shows you how to clean your child’s teeth and allows you the chance to practice.

During the appointment, your Tampa dentist will discuss many important topics such as the proper use of fluoride as well as the relationship between nutrition and dental health. Oral habits like thumb sucking and development markers like teething should also be addressed. Additionally, expect a review of your child’s dental history and a follow-up schedule. An excellent dentist will take the time to answer your questions and respond to any concerns you might have.

Although many dentists recommend regular follow-ups every six months, your child’s dental schedule will be determined based on his or her particular needs. To set up your child’s first dental visit, contact North Pointe Dental Associates today!