Until they are fully grown, baby teeth require the same care as our permanent teeth. Early decay and premature loss can affect the development of the permanent teeth. Establishing an early routine of regular check-ups, brushing and flossing will protect the baby teeth as they grow and the permanent ones as they form.
So when is a good time to introduce your child to the dentist? We recommend an initial wellness check around age 1 or so. But why so young?
These early visits are a good way to introduce and familiarize the child to us and our office, but also give us the opportunity to spot problems as teeth are erupting. We will discuss general care, which is especially important if your child is still bottle feeding, uses a pacifier or is a thumb sucker.
Some things you can do to prepare for your child's for their first visit:
*Schedule the visit during the time of day when your child tends to be the least fussy.
*Read a story about visiting the dentist.
*When talking to your child, keep the words light and positive. Although parents may mean well by telling their child not to be scared, or that it won't hurt, those words actually do just the opposite.
*Tell us about your child and any special needs they may have.
*When the time comes to visit us, let your child bring a favorite toy.
*If your child becomes upset during this visit and we need to reschedule for another time, that's ok! We will try again on another day.
*If the visit goes well, positive reinforcement (such as stickers) and praise works well.
Above it all, we keep the visit light and fun so your child will look forward to seeing us again! For our first-time patients, we hope you find this video of a typical visit to our office helpful! It is also a good refresher for children who have been to our office but have forgotten what to expect.
'My First Visit to Dr. Hull's Office"
(Video made prior to COVID-19)