When it comes to protecting the health of your mouth, you know the importance of routine brushing and flossing, as well as the importance of regular dental visits for cleanings and exams. Did you know that these same elements of good oral health are just as important for your child, if not more so? Your child’s mouth is constantly growing and changing and will do so well into their late teen years. During this time, professional dental cleanings and exams are integral to proper development. At National Dental Williston Park, we can provide the specialized care your child needs to keep their mouth healthy. Caring for your child’s mouth starts early. Here is what you can expect from their first visit.

Pediatric Vs General Dentist

All dentists attend four years of dental school and then can go into practice as a general dentist. Specialists, including pediatric dentists, go on to attend 2 to 3 more years of additional schooling and training. While a general dentist could care for your child’s mouth, a pediatric dentist specifically specializes in the care and treatment of a children’s mouths. We receive training in child behaviors, along with the specific needs of your child’s mouth. We are also trained in how to provide dental treatment to children with special needs.

When Should My Child First Be Seen?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that your child receive their first dental visit six months following the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday, whichever occurs first.

What Happens During the First Visit?

Your child’s first visit is short. When you bring your child back into the exam room, we may request that you sit in the dental chair and hold your child on your lap. This can help your child to feel more comfortable. We will take a quick look inside your child’s mouth, checking their existing teeth and their gums. We will also assess the alignment of their jaw. If necessary, we can clean your child’s teeth as well.

After we have looked over your child’s mouth, we will then have a discussion with you about their oral health. Topics of conversation may include:

  • Any issues we find in their mouth (if we find anything).
  • Proper brushing of your child’s teeth.
  • Nutrition for proper growth and development.
  • The importance of fluoride treatments.
  • Developmental milestones your child will go through.
  • Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and any other oral habits your child might have.
  • Getting your child set up with 6-month visits. Your child should be seen twice a year, just like you. These early visits will help to build their trust and comfort in our office.

Will My Child Get X-Rays?

Your child will most likely not get X-rays during their first visit. They will, however, have their first set by the age 7, right around the time their permanent teeth begin to start emerging. Some children (those who are more prone to cavities and other issues) will have their X-rays sooner than those who don’t. At National Dental, we use digital X-ray technology, which reduces your child’s exposure to radiation up to 95%.

If you are ready to schedule your child’s first oral exam, contact National Dental Williston Park today at (516) 686-9780.