Your child’s first dental visit

by Dr. Charles Bell 21. February 2014 10:54

dr. chuck bell

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month so I thought I would focus on Pediatric topics this month.


I get numerous questions from parents about when, what, where concerning this big event in your child’s life. 



The AAPD (pediatric dentist association) states that a child should be seen no later than their first birthday.  Other pediatric dentists say the 2nd birthday.  I personally feel in our experience with children, that unless something seems amiss, sometime before their third birthday seems appropriate.  I have three children and I know that much earlier than that can make for a possibly challenging visit.



The overall principle in treating children is making sure they become well adjusted adult patients.  As a general dentist I can attest to the life- long psychological damage that can occur from a poor experience as a child in the dental office.  We have many anxious adults patients that need extensive coaching and special help to get them through their anxiety all due to a bad pediatric experience.  So obviously the first visit is key to beginning a stress free attitude about dental care.  If things go well usually a cleaning, polish,and homecare instructions for both child and the parent helper will be accomplished.  But at this appointment services can range from just a ride up and down in the chair to the full cleaning. The key is to have it be as enjoyable as possible and taking cues from the patient.  This is not the time to force the issue.  You get done what you can and everybody is happy.



Pediatric dentists have had 2 to 3 years of additional training and work exclusively with children.  They provide a great service, especially for those little patients with special needs or a significant amount of dental work to be done.  General dentists usually accept children as patients and there is convenience to having the whole family with one caregiver.  Whatever makes sense for you is the right choice.


Most kids do very well at their first visit, so have some fun.  Most likely you are more nervous than your child.

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Taking Care of Your Teeth

Comments (1) -

3/23/2015 3:40:52 PM #

Our smile is the first thing other people will notice in us. We can change other people people's moods and cheer them up when we smile because it's contagious. So, smile is vital in interacting with people around us.

That is why proper attention to our oral health is very essential. We should be more concern on our teeth to be more confident to smile, thus, making it more sincere. Visiting a dentist on a daily basis is needed to achieve this. If we have noticed that there is something wrong with our teeth, immediately consult a dentist for actions, thus, avoiding complications.

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