Your child’s mouth is constantly growing and changing. In fact, it continues to do so until their late teen years. To ensure that their jaws and teeth develop properly, specialized dental care is required. To help foster good oral health habits now, and monitor the development of their little mouths, we offer pediatric dentistry at National Dental East Meadow. For your child’s first visit, here are a few things you should know.
WHAT IS A PEDIATRIC DENTIST?
A pediatric dentist is one who specializes in providing care for kids. All dentists go to dental school and receive four years of education, as well as training. However, those who wish to specialize in a specific field of dentistry must have additional education and training. For pediatric dentistry, our dentists attend an additional two years, focusing on such things as child behavior, the treatment and management of your child’s mouth, and the unique needs of children. Along with providing your child with oral care, our pediatric dentists can also speak to your child in a way that they will understand, working with them to improve their care at home.
WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD’S FIRST VISIT BE?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has guidelines stating when you should bring your child in for their first dental visit. They recommend that your child is seen six months after their first tooth comes in, or by the time they turn one, whichever comes first.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your child’s first visit is usually fairly short. Depending on your child, you may be asked to sit in the chair and hold your child on your lap. We examine their teeth, looking for signs of decay, as well as their gums. We also examine the other tissues of their mouth and their jaw, checking for any signs of issues. We may clean their teeth if necessary.
Their first visit also includes a discussion with you about your child’s oral care. Topics of discussion may include:
- How to brush their teeth.
- Cavity prevention.
- Fluoride treatments.
- Developmental milestones.
- Habits your child might have, such as tongue thrusting, thumb sucking or pacifier use.
- An explanation of any issues in your child’s mouth, if we find any.
- Setting up regular dental visits. Just like you, your child should be seen every six months. These visits will assist in building your child’s trust in us so that we can properly monitor the health and development of their mouths.
WHEN WILL MY CHILD GET THEIR FIRST X-RAY?
Typically, your child will have their first X-ray by the time they are six years old. The exact age at which X-rays are taken depends on your child’s specific situation. If they are more prone to cavities or other issues, they will have X-rays taken earlier than children who are less prone. X-rays provide valuable insight as to how your child’s permanent teeth are developing (they usually start to emerge around the age of 6). We will also be able to check for issues with your child’s bite and monitor the development of their mouth.
With pediatric dentistry, we can help your child’s mouth to develop properly while helping them to learn the proper ways to take care of their teeth and gums. To schedule your child’s first visit, contact National Dental East Meadow today!