As parents, it’s our job to teach our children about the importance of good oral hygiene. If you’re wondering when the best time to begin dental visits, then look no further! You should take your child for their first dental cleaning appointment by their third birthday. However, it’s important to expose your child to the dentist before this first appointment, to reduce any potential fear or anxiety that may arise. That’s why we recommend the “happy visit” after the eruption of the first tooth, or around the time of your child’s first birthday. Dr. Kimmy loves working with children and even more than that; she strives to help kids develop healthy oral habits, from the first tooth.
What’s the Happy Visit?
Multiple happy visits can happen before your child’s first preventive dental appointment. At these visits, Manhasset, NY pediatric dentist Dr. Kimmy may or may not get the opportunity to check out what’s going on in your child’s mouth. That’s perfectly normal, though. The purpose of these happy visits isn’t to necessarily assess the condition of your child’s gums and teeth, but rather to begin helping him feel comfortable when he’s at the dentist’s office. During these visits, you will hold your child on your lap and lay his head back. This allows Dr. Kimmy the opportunity to examine your child’s mouth, while giving him the security of being held by one of his favorite people.
At these visits, you will learn tips on preventing the development of tooth decay in your son or daughter’s mouth. Dr. Kimmy will explain the proper use of oral care products and give you recommendations on which products to use. At dental appointments for toddlers, Dr. Kimmy will also examine the child’s gums and teeth and check for any problems associated with thumb sucking.
Pediatric Dental Care
Even before any teeth erupt, it’s important to begin practicing good oral hygiene and take your child to visit Dr. Kimmy. Many parents are surprised to discover that their babies can develop tooth decay. Similar to adult teeth, baby teeth, or primary teeth, are heavily affected by sugary foods and drinks, such as fruit juices and sweets. When babies are exposed to these types of foods, oral bacteria produce acidic waste, what we call “sugar bugs” when explaining this to children. This acidic waste can cause a breakdown of tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay. Because children have thinner enamel and smaller teeth, decay can advance to the painful and severe stage much faster in children than adults.
Although your child’s first tooth may not surface until six months or even a year, you can begin taking proper care of her mouth by wetting a clean washcloth and gently wiping over her gums. This is a good method for removing any bacteria that may be resting on your child’s gums. Schedule your happy visit to learn more about taking good care of baby teeth!
5 Parental Tips for a Happy Visit
- Schedule multiple visits before the surfacing of the first baby tooth. This is a great way to familiarize your child with Dr. Kimmy.
- Schedule your child’s dental visits in the mornings, when the she’s happy and well rested from a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid bribing your child with rewards for good behavior at the dentist’s office. Instead, speak positively about the visit and encourage good oral hygiene. This will make for many happy visits!
- As the parent, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude about the dental visit. By seeing your positive attitude, your child may feel more at ease about the appointment.
- Remember, your child doesn’t have any ill feelings towards going to the dentist at this point. By making the entire experience upbeat, you’re ensuring your child’s positive feelings about seeing Dr. Kimmy in the future.