As your baby grows, you’ll look forward to each milestone with enthusiasm, from their first roll-over to their first word. One milestone that may not be on your mind, though, is their first trip to the dentist. If you’re like many parents, you might have assumed that an appointment isn’t necessary until their toddler years. You may also feel a little anxious about putting your baby in the dentist’s chair. To learn more and ease your apprehension, keep the following guide in mind.
At What Age Should a Baby See the Dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), parents should bring their little ones for their first checkup by their first birthday or within six months after their first “baby” tooth erupts. Even though there’s very little to brush or floss, scheduling an appointment during this early stage of dental development is crucial.
A dentist can keep an eye on how the teeth are erupting and show you how to care for them to avoid decay or premature tooth loss. This way, the gums and jawbone stay healthy and prepared for their permanent smile. They can also look out for speech development issues—such as those caused by finger-sucking or pacifier use—and refer you to a therapist when the time is right, if necessary.
The younger your child is during the first visit, the less worried they’ll be about the appointment. By the time they’re old enough to realize what’s going on, they’ll be so used to these biannual visits that anxiety won’t be an issue.
How Will the Appointment Go?
The first consultation will be casual yet essential. During the visit, the dentist will get to know your little one, help them get acquainted with the environment, and perhaps show them some rewards (such as toys or prizes) before examining their smile.
Then, they’ll carefully assess the teeth, gums, and other oral tissues while answering any questions you may have. If necessary, they may perform a brief cleaning. Once your child has plenty of primary teeth, they can offer a lesson on brushing and flossing. After about 30 to 45 minutes, your child can head home with a prize in hand.
If you’re ready to set up your child’s first dental appointment, get in touch with Dr. Robert N. Petrtyl, DDS of Cincinnati, OH. This trusted family dentist treats patients of all ages and has over 30 years of experience. As your little one grows, they’ll tend to all their general and cosmetic dentistry needs, from routine cleanings and dental sealants to fillings. To learn more about the practice, visit the website or call (513) 554-4657 today.