Child’s first dental visit

Children’s Dentistry in Naperville, IL

1. When should baby visit the Dentist for the first time?

Not sure when to schedule baby’s first dental checkup? Find out when it’s time to get a dentist’s care for those tiny teeth. Early dental care is a must if you want to keep your baby’s gleaming, a grinning mouthful of teeth and gums in healthy condition.

2. When to schedule baby’s first dental checkup??

It might sound early, but aim to schedule your baby’s first dentist appointment at a pediatric dentist (or one who’s good with children) within 6 months of the time he sprouts a tooth or turns a year old, whichever comes first, according to the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).

If you suspect a problem, or even a cavity already, be sure to bring it up at the visit. A history of cavities in the family — or a habit of falling asleep with a bottle — may give your baby a higher chance of developing early tooth decay. Keeping baby teeth healthy is important, even if they are temporary.

3. What happens at baby’s first dentist visit?

Most are first dentist visits are quick and straightforward by design. The dentist will greet your little one, count your baby’s teeth, and examine his gums. Most pediatric dentists expect a parent to stay in the room while little patients under the age of 1 have their teeth checked. Your baby’s dentist will also want to talk with you about oral hygiene habits, teething and when to schedule your next appointment. Check in advance to find out if the office offers some kind of reward at the end of the visit, such as a sticker or a little toothbrush.

4. What to do if your baby cracks or breaks a tooth?

If you notice a broken tooth, clean your baby’s mouth with warm water and a clean cloth and apply a cold compress on the face, over the sore spot. Then call the dentist. Tiny chips in the teeth aren’t anything to worry about, but your dentist will want to check for sharp edges that should be smoothed or cracks in the teeth that can lead to other problems (fractures can reach the nerve, for example, and teeth can become infected; swollen gums are a sign that this may have happened).

If your baby’s tooth is knocked out completely, a checkup is definitely in order; the dentist will want to look for fragments of the tooth still left in the gum (although he’s not likely to reimplant the tooth, which would have fallen out eventually anyway).

5. How to get baby ready for a dental checkup?

Unlike grownups with vivid memories of the drill, your baby has no reason to be anxious about a trip to the dentist. You may want to look at board books or picture books about dentists together, or play “dentist” with a toothbrush and a stuffed animal. If you’re really worried that your little one will get upset, come prepared with distractions (like bubbles and coloring books), favorite comfort toys and lots of reassuring hugs. And you can take comfort, too: Even if your baby does have a meltdown mid-checkup, it’s nothing an experienced pediatric dentist hasn’t seen before.