Visits by Age 1
Pediatric Dentist Vs. General Dentist
You may be wondering why a pediatric dentist versus a general dentist, especially if you already have a dentist that you already like. All dentists go to dental school for four years, and they all receive a similar education and training. Technically a general dentist could provide dental care for your child. Pediatric dentists, however, receive an additional 2 to 3 years of classroom education and professional training. We are trained in the specific needs of children. We focus on the oral health needs of children, and we are well educated in child behavior. We also receive extensive training in providing dental care to patients with special needs.
What Happens at the First Visit?
By the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend that your child has their very first dental visit six months following the eruption of their first baby tooth or by the time they turn 1, whichever one happens first. Even if your child does not have any teeth by their first birthday, it is still important that they be seen.
The first dental visit for your child is a short appointment. The main goal of this visit and the next few visits following is to get your child acquainted and comfortable with our office and us. This visit also gives you an opportunity to get to know us.
When we bring you and your child into the exam room, we may ask that you sit in the chair with your child in your lap. This can help your child to feel more relaxed and comfortable. We will take a quick peek into their mouth and assess the alignment of their jaw. The teeth may or may not be cleaned during this visit. Once we have finished looking over their mouth, we will then discuss with you. We may discuss things such as:
Does My Child Need X-Rays at the First Visit?
It is very unlikely that your child will need dental X-rays during their first visit. X-rays this early are usually only done if there is a specific concern, such as a cleft palate. Most children will have their first dental X-rays around the age of 6. If your child is particularly prone to cavities, they may have their first X-rays a little sooner. Our office utilizes digital X-ray technology, which reduces radiation exposure up to 95%. This can be a great relief for parents concerned over X-ray imaging.
The first dental visit is the first step in setting your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. Call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry for more information and to schedule an appointment today at (503) 663-8141.