When Should My
Child’s First Appointment Be?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children have their first dental visit within six months of getting their first tooth or no later than their first birthday. Cleanings are recommended every six months following their first visit. Regular brushing should begin at the first signs of a baby tooth erupting. This will keep the teeth healthy and strong and will help form a healthy dental routine. Having an established pediatric dentist early on helps strengthen that routine and gives parents a source for guidance through their child’s ever-changing dental needs.
How Dental Appointments May Change With Time
As your child grows, you can expect their exams and cleanings to change as well. No matter their age, you know your child will be in safe hands at Clubhouse Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Jackson and his team are experts in the development, treatment and care of every age of child. See below for information regarding what to expect at your child’s appointment.
- Infants – Doctor Jackson typically performs a knee-to-knee exam with infants. This means you will be holding your infant across your knees during the exam which is usually done quickly to keep your child more comfortable.
- Toddlers – Depending on their size and level of cooperation, toddlers may require a knee-to-knee exam similar to infants. If they are willing, they may be examined on one of our child-sized pediatric benches and offered their choice of movie to watch during their appointment.
- Young Children – Most young children enjoy choosing a movie to watch during their appointment on the pediatric benches. This helps distract them from the noise of the office and keeps them calm and comfortable. An assistant or hygienist will usually clean and polish their teeth before seeing the dentist.
- Older Children – Children from about 12 years old (up to age 18) may be too tall for our pediatric benches and need their exam in one of our full-sized dental chairs. They receive the same great care and attention with an assistant or hygienist before they see the dentist. Their cleanings may take a little more time since they typically have all of their adult teeth or a mixture of adult and baby teeth.
Other Preventative Measures in Addition to Exams and Cleanings
Keeping your child healthy is a top priority, which includes taking care of their teeth! While children are notorious for being picky eaters, it is important to ensure they get the nutrients they need for strong teeth and bones. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D and low in sugar and high-fermentable carbohydrates will help reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay. We also offer fluoride treatments and sealants to help protect your child’s teeth from cavities following their cleaning. Fluoride is a mineral that helps make teeth more resistant to decay. Sealants are an ultra-thin, clear or white plastic coating applied to a molar’s chewing surface. Sealants help prevent cavities by covering the deep grooves in teeth that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush.