Children's First Dental Visit
The Importance of the First Dental Visit
Lifelong oral hygiene is a key component to maintaining healthy smiles. Learning effective hygiene skills starts early; according to the Canadian Dental Association, children should be visiting the dentist for their first evaluation around 6 months of age, or when their first tooth has emerged. While this may seem early, this first visit is critical for several reasons, including:
Evaluating tooth development
Childhood dental development has a lasting impact on the health and placement of future permanent teeth. Evaluating how the primary, or baby, teeth develop and ensuring that they emerge correctly is instrumental to maintaining lasting dental health.
Although there are few teeth in the mouth, there are a number of steps parents and guardians should be taking to maintain their child’s oral health. During your child’s first visit to Dr. Derek Fika Family Dentistry, our Edmonton dentist sits down with parents to discuss healthy at-home hygiene habits. Often, this discussion covers cleaning the gums and teeth as they emerge and developing oral health-friendly diets.
Familiarizing patients with visits
Many cases of dental anxiety are developed as a result of poor dental interactions during childhood. Preventing future cases of anxiety or phobia begins with early introductions to routine dental care. As first visits are often more educational than procedural, children gradually become accustomed to the idea of regular dental visits. As they get older and begin coming in for preventive care such as sealants and fluoride, these children are already familiar with the instruments that will be used to clean their teeth.
Identify potential dental problems
Just as dental development can have an impact on future oral health, so can childhood tooth decay and infection. Often caused when young children are given sugary drinks or juices and their mouths are not properly cleaned, early childhood caries is a fairly common condition that can potentially compromise a patients’ immediate and long-term oral health if left untreated. During your child’s first visit, our dentist will evaluate your child’s smile for potential cavities and provide you with tips for preventing the condition.
Discuss future preventive care
During childhood, the dentition undergoes a number of transitions. Protecting your child’s smile through these transitions starts with ensuring they receive the right preventive treatments at the appropriate age. During the first visit, Dr. Fika can examine your child’s smile and determine when and what kind of future preventive care will be needed.
Creating lasting smiles starts with a visit to Dr. Derek Fika Family Dentistry. At our Edmonton practice, we welcome parents to bring their children in for their first check-up by their first birthday. Together, Dr. Fika and parents can ensure their child receives the right dental care when they need it. Contact our team today.