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Your Child's First Dental Appointment

Your Child's First Dental Appointment 

As a new parent, you probably wonder when you should schedule your child’s first dental appointment and what you should expect at your child’s first dental appointment.  At Auburn Family Dental, in Auburn Washington, we base our standard of care upon the recommendations of the American Dental Association and years of experience in enhancing the smiles of children and families This article will discuss some of the highlights of your child’s first dental appointment.

The earlier your child visits the dentist, the more comfortable they will feel about the dentist throughout their life.  It is recommended that you schedule your child’s first dental visit by the age of 1 or within 6 months of their first teeth coming in.  The first visit usually is a “meet and greet” appointment where we introduce your child to our office and staff.  We pull out all the stops to make it fun.  We have children’s movies, a play area, prizes and several activities to make your child’s first dental visit memorable in a fun way.

Keep in mind, that until your child is between 2-3 years of age, appointments will be very short and involve very little treatment.  The goal is to create a good experience so your child develops a positive life-long relationship with the dentist.   Children are very sensitive to the moods and fears of parents, so if you have dental fears, do your best to avoid projecting them onto your child with fearful words or actions that may scare them.  There are many great children’s books about going to the dentist that are helpful in preparing your child for what to expect and you can tell them that dentists are very nice an love to help children.

Once your child is ready for treatment, you can expect the following:

The Examination

Dr. Marie will do a thorough examination of your child’s teeth and gums.  She will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues.

Professional Cleaning

The dental hygienist will perform a cleaning with flavored polishing paste and specialized instruments for children’s teeth.  She will evaluate your child’s home care by looking at the plaque and calculus levels.

Oral Hygiene Instruction

The hygienist will teach you how to brush and floss your child’s teeth and how to make it a fun and easy experience for everyone.  She wills how you areas that are important to clean so you can prevent decay from starting to develop on your child’s teeth.  She will also discuss proper nutrition habits with you and your child.


Fluoride is an excellent way to prevent cavities.  We will evaluate your child’s needs for fluoride drops or topical fluoride and at the conclusion of the appointment, your child’s will receive a topical fluoride treatment.

Digital X-rays

We use low dose digital x-rays.  X-rays will not be taken at every appointment.  We will assess your child’s needs for x-rays based upon their age, risk for dental problems and x-ray history.  X-rays are important in children for a few reasons.  First, x-rays reveal decay between their teeth, an area we cannot visually see when looking in the mouth.  Baby teeth, although they will be lost eventually, have a very important job to do.  They act as a guide and space maintainer in the jaw bone for the permanent teeth.  Baby teeth are very soft and decay very fast.  X-rays can determine if there is a potential cavity that may threaten the health of the permanent tooth.  Second, x-rays help us to establish the presence and eruption patterns of permanent teeth.  Every tooth your child will get in his whole life has already been formed and is waiting in the bone to come in when signaled by the body.  Even at a very young age, we can see tooth buds far before they will come in.

 This entry was posted on Saturday, October 20th, 2012 at 7:34 pm and is filed under Auburn Pediatric Dentist. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site. 
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