Mom MeetUps had the chance to catch up with fellow mom and pediatric dentist Dr. Fatina (aka The Tooth Fairy) of Gramercy Kids Smiles to ask a few questions about your child’s first dental visit. Read on for her helpful responses…
When should you take your little one to their first dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends the first dental visit happen by age one or within six months of the eruption of your child’s first baby tooth. Many babies start getting their first teeth by 6 months of age, and by 3 years old, your child should have all 20 of their baby teeth. Establishing good habits at a young age is as important for your oral health as it is for your overall health. If a good oral hygiene routine is not established early on, dental issues usually persist in the future.
How should I choose a pediatric dentist?
Choosing the right pediatric dentist for your little one is strongly encouraged. A pediatric dentist completes an additional two years of training after dental school and can become board certified, but NOT all pediatric dentists obtain this highest level of certification. The office should create a positive experience for your child and be a source of education for the parents. The kid-friendly office design should have a lot of distractions, such as TVs on the ceiling, and stuffed animals to show your child what they will experience during the visit. Allowing your child to pick out their favorite flavored toothpaste has been shown to give them a sense of involvement in their appointment. Lastly, getting a balloon, toys or goodies makes for a successful end to a dental visit and leaves them with a good impression.
What should I expect at our first pediatric dental visit?
I always tell parents that the first dental visit is like a well visit with the pediatrician. The goal is to establish a comfortable dental home and to review oral hygiene habits. During the appointment, we will count the teeth, check the bite, assess if fluoride is needed, and look at the overall health of the teeth. Sometimes, if plaque is present, a cleaning may be recommended. We will look at your child’s risk for getting cavities and discuss ways to prevent this from happening. We will also discuss topics surrounding teething, brushing, flossing, use of bottle / pacifier / thumb, and anything else related to your child’s oral health.
How should I prepare my little one for his/her first dentist appointment?
There are several things you can do to prepare your little one for the first visit:
Be excited about the visit! Children sense if the parents are nervous. Being positive and making it sound like fun will help your child to feel the same way.
Establish a good routine at home. When you are brushing teeth at home, teach you little one to say “ahhh.” It will help your child open up during their appointment.
Schedule your first appointment for earlier in the day, because your little one will be fresher and more alert.
Take your child to one of our tooth fairy presentations* to see the fun side of the dentist and get excited for his/her first dental visit.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to meeting you and your little one soon, and helping him or her have a great first dental visit!
*Gramercy Kids Smiles travels to many local schools and organizations doing fun tooth fairy presentations to get your little ones excited about going to see the dentist. Let us know if your daycare or school would like us to visit. Being positive and presenting oral health in a fun way will help lead to a positive experience.
About Gramercy Kids Smiles
At Gramercy Kids Smiles, we are proud to specialize in pediatric dentistry because we truly believe in starting children off right when it comes to their dental health. It is our goal to ensure that each visit goes well so that they think of the dentist’s office as a good place. Our entire staff is wonderful with children, allowing them to relax while we care for their teeth.
Our dentists and staff have received extra training for primary teeth. Our goal is to protect your children’s teeth so they can eat and speak correctly. We will do whatever we can to help your children have the bright smiles they deserve.
We are also here for you, the parents. We know how important (yet difficult) it is to take care of your children’s teeth at home. During your appointment, we will go over the care that you need to be providing at home and look for problems as well. If needed, we will work with your child’s pediatrician.
Check us out @Gramercykidssmiles on Instagram and Facebook to find helpful tips for oral health, photos and videos, and fun giveaways and raffles.
Mom Key Offer
Gramercy Kids Smiles is also a Mom Key partner, offering a free electric Philips Sonicare toothbrush for kids ( $39.99 value) at your child’s first dental visit. Just give your unique member ID (found on your virtual membership card in your Mom Key profile) when making your appointment.