The eruption of baby teeth is a milestone in a child’s development, and it also means it is time to see the pediatric dentist. Many parents are usually not bothered about dental care for their toddler. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentist advises that children should have their first dental visit before their first birthday.
At first, the dental visits are usually only educative. But, they could help the dentist set appropriate oral care routine that can go on for a long time.
Getting the right pediatric dentist
To locate a pediatric dentist, parents can consult their child’s doctor about care providers in their area. Also, they can ask friends and family members for recommendations. They can make their decision based on the location of the dental office and office hours that aligns with their schedule.
Parents can interview different pediatric dentists before opting for the professional where they feel the most comfortable. Aside from calling the office for information, most dental offices have websites with FAQs to answer their patient’s queries.
Before going in for the dental appointment, parents need to ensure their child eats and rests well. Write down a couple of questions to ask the dentist ahead of time. It is also important that they check with their dental insurance provider about coverage before going for their child’s first dental visit. Many dental providers will request for evidence of dental and medical insurance during the appointment. Finally, parents need to take along any current drug the child might be using and must be ready to fill a medical history form.
Preparing a toddler or infant for a dental appointment may not be required. However, parents may need to inform an older child about the dental appointment. If the child seems fearful or anxious about the dental visit, parents can reassure them by reading them books about dentists or watching videos that describe what a typical dental checkup entails.
What to expect during the dental appointment
When parents take their children in for their first visit, the dentist will usually teach them about the correct ways to care for the child’s tooth and gums. Discussion may also include the use of pacifiers and how proper nutrition is vital for maintaining healthy teeth. The pediatric dentist will show the parent correct brushing techniques so that they can assist their children with dental care. Towards the end of the appointment, the parent will be able to ask any questions they have.
Establishing an excellent relationship with the pediatric dentist is crucial for parents who want to give their children proper oral care right from an early age. Cultivating the routine of visiting the dentist early will influence the child to adopt such practices when they become independent.
Based on the condition of the child’s teeth, the dentist will inform the parent when to make their next appointment. Dental experts typically suggest babies visit the dentist every six months if no issue occurs. Children who are prone to cavities may need to visit more often. The bottom line is that parents must take these appointments seriously for their child’s sake.
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