You already know the importance of brushing and flossing, not just for you, but for your child as well. Good oral hygiene starts early before the first teeth erupt. The AAPD recommends using a damp washcloth to clean the gums of your child before their baby teeth begin to erupt. As their teeth begin to emerge, you then begin brushing. Taking care of their mouth at home is only a part of the equation. Your child also needs professional care, just like you do. Platte Valley Dental Care can help. However, just when should your child have their first visit?
When Should My Child Have Their First Appointment?The first visit is recommended much earlier than most parents expect. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, or AAPD, it is recommended that your child is seen six months following the eruption of their first baby tooth or by their first birthday. The recommendation is whichever one of these events occurs first. This means that even if your child has only just gotten their first tooth right before their first birthday, or they do not have any teeth by their first birthday, they should still come in for their first appointment.
What to Expect During the First VisitThe first visit is simple and straightforward. The goal is to allow us to get to know you and your child, and for your child to get acquainted with us. We take a quick look inside of their mouth, examining their gums and any teeth that may already be present. If necessary, we clean them.
After looking at their mouth, we then discuss with you. There are several different topics that may be covered. These include:
What About X-Rays?In most cases, no, your child will not have x-rays taken during their first appointment. X-ray images this early are not done unless there are specific circumstances, such as a cleft palate. The first x-rays are generally taken around the age of 6 after all of the baby teeth have erupted and the adult teeth are developing underneath. Some of the baby teeth may have already fallen out, and some of the adult teeth may be emerging through the gums. With x-rays, we can monitor the growth and development of the teeth and jaws, allowing us to detect potential issues before they become serious.
X-rays are also an important part of early orthodontic evaluations. With this type of evaluation, we can detect the presence of orthodontic issues, and predict the likelihood of issues in the future. This allows your child to get the orthodontic care they need to ensure optimal oral development and a beautiful, healthy smile.
Your child should have regular dental visits, just like you. Starting your child early helps them to become comfortable with our office, which enables us to provide your child with optimal care in a safe manner. For more information, and to schedule an appointment for your child, all Platte Valley Dental Care at (816) 858-2027 today.