Dental care is essential for everyone, adults and children. But children, with their developing mouths, require special care. At National Dental Upper East Side, we provide pediatric dentistry, helping your child to foster good oral health now, to provide them with a healthy beautiful smile in adulthood. Here is what to know about your child’s first visit.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PEDIATRIC DENTIST AND A REGULAR DENTIST
All dentists go to school for four years. Our pediatric dentists receive two additional years of education and training. This education and training revolves around the treatment and management of a child’s developing mouth, child behavior and the unique needs of children’s dentistry. We can help put your child at ease at the dentist, and speak with them in a way they will understand.
WHEN SHOULD YOUR CHILD FIRST BE BROUGHT IN?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that you bring your child in for their first dental visit by the age of one, or 6 months after their first tooth erupts.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST VISIT?
In general, the first visit is short. We will examine your child’s existing teeth for signs of decay. We will check their bite, as well as check for any issues with the gum tissue (as well as all other oral tissues), and the jaw. If necessary, we will clean their teeth, and assess the need for fluoride treatments. We may ask that you sit in the chair with your child, and hold him or her on your lap.
During your child’s first exam, we will have a discussion with you about your child’s oral hygiene. Topics for discussion may include:
- Oral hygiene basics.
- How to prevent cavities.
- Fluoride treatments.
- Explaining and issues we find in your childs mouth.
- Any habits that your child might have – thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, etc.
- Developmental milestones.
- Nutrition for proper development.
We will also make sure to set up regular visits. As with our adult patients, we like to see children every six months. This helps to build up your child’s trust and comfort, and allows us to monitor the development of their mouth.
WHEN IS YOUR CHILD’S FIRST X-RAY?
The time of your child’s first X-ray will depend upon his or her specific circumstances. For instance, if your child is more prone to cavities, or has a cleft palate, they will have X-rays taken at an earlier age than others. Most children will have their first X-ray by the age of 6. At National Dental, we use digital X-ray technology, which significantly reduces the amount of radiation your child is exposed to, and allows us to see the images right away (rather than having to develop them in a separate room). X-rays will play a crucial role in providing us with insight as to how your child’s permanent teeth are developing (they start to emerge around the age of 6), as well as check for bite problems and monitor the health of their teeth.
Professional care is essential for the health of your child’s mouth. If it’s time for your child’s very first dental visit, National Dental Upper East Side is here for you. Call us today at (646) 736-2206 to schedule an appointment!