Our office follows the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) by recommending that a child’s first dental visit should occur within 6 months of the first tooth erupting, and no later than age one. The initial appointment is a great opportunity to introduce your child to the dental environment and to get them used to the idea of visiting the dentist regularly. By establishing a dental home in the earliest years, our office can guide you in understanding your child’s oral development, offer oral hygiene tips and tricks, and suggest healthy eating habits.
Topics discussed during the New Patient Infant Exam include teething, brushing, and flossing; using toothpaste; proper use of bottles and sippy cups; pacifier and thumb habits; dental emergency basics; and most importantly, how you can keep your child’s teeth healthy between dental check-ups.
Children under the age of 3 (and many older kids with high anxiety) will not sit in the dental chair for an examination or any type of procedure. We use the knee-to-knee approach with the parents to help the child feel secure and allow the parent to participate in the exam.
An important part of the Infant Exam is to help you learn brushing and flossing techniques for your little one. We use a “toothbrush prophylaxis” to remove plaque from tooth surfaces and demonstrate to parents the proper technique. This toothbrush cleaning is used in lieu of the more tradition rubber cup prophylaxis (used on the “bigger kids”) and is an accepted approach by the AAPD to professionally clean teeth in many different types of situations.
After your child’s teeth are brushed, we will provide a professional fluoride treatment in the form of a clear varnish applied to the teeth. The varnish is a safe and effective adjunct to reduce the risk of cavities and help strengthen enamel on the teeth.