Expectations For Your Kid's First Dental Appointment
While it is a good idea to start taking your kid to a pediatric dental specialist as soon as their teeth start coming in, many parents decide to delay it until later when their kid is more aware of what the appointment is about. If your kid is a bit older for their first appointment, here is what you can expect.
Meeting The Staff
The very first visit will be a chance for your kid to meet the dental professionals that will be cleaning and inspecting their teeth. While you are very familiar with the setting and what to expect, be aware that your kid will not. The office might seem scary to them, especially if you do not go to a pediatric dentist that may have a kid friendly waiting room. Let your kid know that everyone that will be working with them is nice and friendly, and there should not be a reason to be afraid of them.
Discussing Oral Care
As a parent, you will be asked about what kind of care you are doing at home for your kid's teeth. Now is the time to be honest about what you have been doing, how often you have been brushing and flossing, and if you or your kid is the one doing the actual brushing. Your kid may even be asked to demonstrate how they brush their teeth so they can get some advice about what they could be doing better.
If your kid does not enjoy brushing their teeth, talking about it with a dentist may help reinforce how serious it is. They can help by showing pictures of teeth with decay to let them know the consequences of not brushing and flossing regularly.
For young kids, be prepared to hear about the long term effects of allowing them to suck their thumb or continue to use a pacifier.
Performing The Exam
The dental hygienist will perform a routine teeth cleaning for your kid, which includes using a fluoride treatment on the teeth. Your kid will also receive a dental exam to check for cavities and other problems that can happen at a young age.
Your kid may also have x-rays taken as well, depending on the health of their teeth. If it looks like there are issues with the teeth not coming in properly or tooth decay. For young children, it is typical for a dentist to avoid taking x-rays unless it is necessary.