Taking care of your teeth is important, and your regular dental visits are a critical part of this care. However, did you know that oral care, and dental visits, are just as important for your young children? Your child’s mouth is constantly growing, developing and changing. These developments need to be monitored. Their oral health needs to be taken care of to ensure proper development and that their mouth will be healthy into adulthood. Children require special dental care. At National Dental Melville, we can provide the care that your child needs. Here is what you can expect from their first visit.

When Should My Child Be Seen?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that your child be seen six months following the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday, which ever one comes first. This is often earlier than many parents think they should take their child in.

What is the Difference Between a Pediatric and a General Dentist?

Technically, your child could be seen by a general dentist. All dentists receive similar training during their four years of dental school. A pediatric dentist, however, is a specialist. Moreover, like other specialties, this means that they have attended two to three additional years of education and training. Pediatric dentists focus on child behavior, as well as the treatment and management of your child’s mouth. We are well versed in the specific needs of children’s mouths, and even have additional training in providing care for children with special needs.

What Can I Expect?

Your child’s first visit will most likely be quite short. Before we get started, we may ask that you sit in the chair with your child on your lap, which can help to comfort your child and keep them relaxed. We will take a quick look inside of your child’s mouth, examining any teeth that they may have along with the tissues. We will also check their jaw for alignment. We may clean their teeth if needed.

Along with a quick look at your child’s mouth, we will also have a discussion with you about their oral health. Topics for discussion may include:

  • Any issues we find when examining their mouth.
  • How to brush their teeth.
  • The best ways to prevent cavities.
  • The benefits of fluoride treatments.
  • Teething.
  • Developmental milestones your child will achieve.
  • Thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and other oral habits your child might have.
  • Nutrition for a healthy mouth.
  • Setting your child up with regular six-month visits. These are just as important for your child as they are for you. In your child’s early years, these visits also help to build up their comfort in our office.

When Will My Child Get Their First X-Rays?

In general, most children will receive their first set of dental X-rays by the age of 6, right around the time their permanent teeth begin to emerge. Children who are more prone to oral health issues such as cavities will get their X-rays before children who are not. At National Dental, we use digital X-ray technology. This greatly reduces your child’s exposure to radiation while providing us with valuable information as to what is happening in your child’s mouth.

If it’s time to schedule your child’s first dental visit, Call National Dental Melville today at (631) 816-2277!