What to Expect…At Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

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When should I take my kid to the dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to their first dentist within six months of when they have their first tooth, and definitely before their first birthday. In terms of the time of day, we’ve found that mornings can be a better time to book an appointment, as your child will be more alert and well-rested. It’s also good to try and make sure they’ve been fed relatively recently.

What happens at my child’s first dental appointment?

Your pediatric dentist can help offer advice on cleaning your child’s teeth, and look to see if thumb sucking or use of a pacifier has affected their teeth in any way. 

It’s good to try and be aware of your mood – if you tend to feel stressed about visiting the dentist, please don’t! Our team of dentists and hygienists in Windsor, CT are friendly and experienced with babies (as well as older patients)! Children and young babies can pick up on their parents’ feelings, so try to stay calm and positive throughout the visit to the dentist’s office.

We’ll start the appointment with a little chat about your child’s health and dental history – when they got their first tooth, whether they suck their thumb or use a pacifier, and whether they’ve had any issues teething. Our experienced dental staff can also provide advice about fluoride, and show you how to clean your kid’s teeth and gums if you’re unsure.

During your child’s first dental appointment we’ll check any baby teeth that have come in, as well as their gums, tongue and tissue, and will do a gentle cleaning if necessary. We generally won’t take x-rays unless it’s needed to diagnose tooth decay. In general, the dental association recommends avoiding dental x-rays for young children.

All in all, the appointment should take less than an hour, about 30-45 minutes. We’ll generally finish by encouraging you to book a follow-up dentist visit. By bringing your child in every six months, we can keep an eye on your child’s dental health and development, and ensure they grow up to have a healthy smile. Visiting the dentist regularly can also help instill good habits, and make them feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office when they grow up.

Taking care of your child’s teeth

Between dentist visits, there are a few things you can do to protect your child’s teeth. One of the most important is preventing baby bottle tooth decay. Try not to give your son or daughter milk, juice, or anything sweet before a nap, and always try to ensure they’re finishing a bottle within 5-8 minutes. 

You don’t need to brush until they have their first tooth – you can just wipe their gums down gently with a cloth. Once they’ve had their first tooth, start brushing with a small, soft toothbrush and a tiny amount of baby toothpaste. You can start using toothpaste with fluoride once they are three years old.

Friendly family dentistry in South Windsor, CT

If your child has started teething and it’s time to bring them in for a cleaning, give our dentist’s office a call today. We offer the whole family dental care in the center of Connecticut, serving children and parents from Hartford, Enfield, Bloomfield, Windsor Locks, and more. We’re located in South Windsor, CT, near the junction with I-91 and Day Hill Road. Our experienced team of dental professionals is used to working with children and patients of all ages from the central Connecticut area. Call us on 860-688-3663 and book your child in for their first pediatric dentist appointment.

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