Your baby will have many firsts: their first words, solid foods, their first crawl, then walking, their first friend, etc. Another big milestone will be your baby’s first trip to the dentist! While baby teeth don’t stick around forever (with most of them falling out by the time a child is ten), keeping your baby’s teeth and gums in good shape is still crucial.
However, you might have questions, including when you should bring your baby to the dentist and how to prepare. Your local La Feria child dental care office has the answers you need!
When Should You Schedule Your Baby’s First Visit?
It’s a good idea to plan to schedule your baby’s first appointment with a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend either within six months of your baby sprouting their first tooth or when they turn a year old.
The first visit is often just a general check-up; if you have suspicions that your little one may already have a cavity, be sure to tell your dentist. A baby’s chance of developing a cavity increases if the infant falls asleep while nursing or if it runs in the family.
When you visit your dentist in La Feria, they can provide you with helpful information regarding:
- Best infant feeding practices
- Mouth cleaning and what type of toothbrush to use
- How to combat pacifier/finger-sucking habits
- Baby bottle tooth decay
How to Prepare Your Baby
There are a few steps you can take to prepare your baby. These steps will help prepare them both for their first and subsequent visits. You can have your baby practice opening and closing their mouth and even do mock dentist exams at home.
While babies might not be able to understand the concept of a dentist quite yet, you can show them fun videos that feature cartoon dentists. There are also children’s books available that you can read to them and show them bright, colorful pictures.
What Can You Expect During the Visit
Babies will often experience separation anxiety when separated from their parents. The right dentist will understand this and permit the parent to be in the same room with their baby. Often a parent will hold their baby as well. Doing so can relieve the baby of possible distress or anxiety.
Your dentist will probably start by asking you questions regarding your baby’s dental health and potentially any family history. Your dentist will examine your baby’s teeth, gums, jaws, bite, and oral tissues. The exam is to both check for any issues and monitors their overall growth and progress. Your dentist may also administer a gentle cleaning that removes stains, tartar, and plaque.
Tips to Make the First Visit Easier
While your baby’s first dental visit is sure to be exciting and the start of them taking care of their teeth as they age, it’s also normal to be nervous as a parent. To help make the process smoother, here are some tips you can follow:
- Schedule an appointment when your baby will be well-rested.
- Ensure your child has had a small meal before the visit. You may also brush your baby’s teeth before the visit.
- Have your baby’s favorite toys or items if they become distraught during the visit.
- When possible, meet with your dentist beforehand to see if they’re a good fit for you and your baby.
Ease the Stress of Your Baby’s First Visit with Our La Feria Dentists
Your baby’s first visit to the dentist is sure to be a fun and exciting time. However, it can also make parents nervous when they don’t know what to expect. To make the process easier, visit us at WhiteWing Dental.
At WhiteWing Dental, we have experienced pediatric and general dentists used to working with babies and children. Call today to schedule your regular dental cleaning!