At Life Point Dental, we strive to provide a “dental home” for your child, a place where oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, accessible, and family-centered way. This relationship gives your child the best chance for optimal oral health. Our approach to dentistry focuses on prevention and education.
We aim to educate the whole family to help prevent dental problems - parents are welcome to be with their children during their appointments. Our goal is for our office to be a place where families are comfortable and look forward to visiting.
When Should I Make My Child's First Dental Appointment?
Many parents don’t realize that babies and toddlers can get cavities, but they can - and do.
As soon as your child gets a tooth, that tooth can begin to decay. This is why it is so important to schedule a dental checkup for your baby when that first tooth comes in.
In fact, the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association all recommend that you bring your child in for a dental checkup no later than your child’s first birthday, even if no teeth have emerged yet.
Does a Baby Really Need to go to the Dentist?
If bringing your child to the dentist no later than his or her first birthday seems early to you, consider this: more than 21% of American children between the ages of 2 and 5 have cavities.
A baby’s first dental visit is the perfect opportunity for parents to learn how to properly care for their child’s teeth to avoid future cavities. Additionally, if your child’s teeth are already beginning to show signs of early decay, your child’s dentist will be able to work with you to try to reverse that early decay before it develops into a cavity. The sooner you bring your child to the dentist, the better the chances of being able to reverse any tooth decay before it permanently damages your child’s tooth.
If a cavity has already developed, it is important to treat the cavity early. Tooth decay in young children is especially aggressive and, when left untreated, can lead to serious infections relatively quickly.
Because very young children cannot communicate their feelings easily, parents sometimes mistake pain caused by tooth decay for normal teething or other types of pain.
f your child is nervous about their first dental appointment, we always welcome parents to bring their child by our office to take a look around and get acclimated to our clinic before your visit with us! If you think this would help your child, feel free to give us a call to schedule a tour of our office.
A Child's First Dental Checkup
Your child's first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes.
Depending on your child's age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. If needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque or tartar.
Just like adults, children should see the dentist every 6 months, but sometimes we may advise an appointment in 3 months. This can build comfort and confidence in the child. More frequent visits can also help keep an eye on a development problem.