1st Trip to the Dentist
I’m a little late writing this post, but I wanted to share Nova’s first trip to the dentist with you all! A few weeks ago Nijyl and I took Nova to her first dentist appointment at my childhood dentist, Dentistry for Children! It is recommended that you take your child to the dentist when the first few teeth come in or by their first birthday. We took Nova at 17 months, a little late, but I believe the timing wasn’t too bad. It’s really never too late, as long as you get it done!
We've done a good job with brushing Nova's teeth morning and at night, so we weren't too worried about getting any bad news regarding her teeth. For some time now, we've been using the Tom's of Maine natural toothpaste when brushing her teeth, with a tiny size amount of fluoride toothpaste to help with keeping them white. It's important to care for baby teeth or primary teeth just as you would adult teeth, because decay in primary teeth can mean a higher risk of decay in permanent teeth. Remember to start brushing as early as the first tooth appears so that they can become more familiar with the routine. Nova is actually obsessed with her tooth brush, anytime she comes into the bathroom and sees her toothbrush she's like "brush, brush, brush."
Overall, Nova's visit went well minus the hollering she did the last few minutes haha. No cavities were found and the dentist suggested that we keep up the good work with her. Here are some tips below that helped me with my child's first dental visit.
Set up the Appointment
You know it has to happen, so schedule the appointment months out!
Why Schedule a Visit So Early?
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric recommend that the first dental visit should occur 6 months after the baby's first tooth appears, but no later than your child's first birthday. It's also best to set up a dental appointment when your child does not have any dental issues. You don't want your little one meeting their dentist when it's a dental emergency and ultimately have a traumatic experience.
How To Prepare for the Visit
Start early by introducing your child to brushing their teeth. When the time comes for a visit, practice with them how to open their mouths when the dentist checks them. Let them watch videos or read books to them about first dental visits. It's a song on Baby First
that Nova loves to sing about brushing her teeth, this will definitely help them be less fearful of the visit.
What To Expect During the Visit
The first dental visit that is before your child turns three is not intense at all and is pretty straight forward. The dentist will examine your baby's teeth to see if their jaw and teeth are developing correctly. During the visit, they'll be seated in the chair by theirselves or they will have you hold your child in your lap. I'm guessing since Nova is a little bit older this is the reason she was able to sit in the dental chair by herself. The dentist check for mouth injuries, cavities, or any other issues. Since Nova is younger than three, they did not give her a general cleaning. No worries if your child starts to wiggle or cry, this is completely normal and the dental staff is aware that this is a new experience for your baby.
Tips for a Great Visit
Schedule your child's visit during the recommended time-frame.
Don't schedule appointments during your baby's nap-time (morning appointments are the best!)
Make sure your baby has had a light meal before the appointment so they are not hungry during the visit.