Going to the dentist can be stressful for both you and your child. Here are some tips to help everyone feel relaxed and ready for their dental checkups.
Regular dental checkups help protect your child’s oral health and give your child’s dentist a chance to detect problems early, when they’re most treatable. But going to the dentist can be stressful for both you and your child. Here are some tips to help everyone feel relaxed and ready for their dental checkups.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend scheduling a child’s first dental checkup after their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday.
Before making your child’s first dental appointment, you should decide whether you want to take your child to your family dentist or to a pediatric dentist (a specialist in dental care for children). A pediatric dentist’s office is usually child-friendly and has equipment specially designed for children.
After your child’s checkup, the dentist or oral hygienist will discuss your child’s oral health, their risk of tooth decay, and other oral health concerns, and will offer tips on improving and protecting your child’s oral health. It will also be recommended when to return for a follow-up visit (usually every six months). More-frequent checkups might be suggested if your child is at high risk of tooth decay or has other oral health concerns.
There are many dentists in the Healthfirst network, including pediatric dentists (pedodontists). If you are a Healthfirst member or are considering becoming one and need help finding a dentist for your child, visit HFDocFinder.org.
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“Dental exam for children.” The Mayo Clinic. Accessed February 1, 2020.
“A Child’s First Dental Visit Fact Sheet.” University of Rochester Medical Center. Accessed February 1, 2020.
“8 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists.” Port, Dina Roth. February 1, 2020.