What Happens at My Child’s First Pediatric Dental Exam?

Like most parents, you could be wondering when you should take your child to the dentist for the first time. You may also be wondering what to expect during the initial exam. Most parents are surprised to learn that they should schedule the first pediatric dental visit before their child’s first birthday. 

It may be hard to understand why it is necessary to have a pediatric dental exam when teeth are just erupting. It is vital to know what to expect during the exam. 


Schedule a Consultation

When you decide to take your child for the first pediatric dental exam, it is helpful to schedule a consultation. You may have some questions about the entire process, and this is quite normal. The pediatric dentist will be happy to answer your questions. 

This will help make the initial dental visit as stress-free as possible. During the consultation, you can find out when the first visit should be and how to prepare your child. 


Familiarization Tour

The first visit to the dentist can be intimidating for any child. When you take your child for the first dental exam, the dentist will begin by
offering a simple explanation of what the dentist will do. It also includes showing the child some of the tools that the dentist uses. This can help put the child at ease to ensure that the exam is completed effectively. 


The Exam Process

During the initial visit, you will sit in the chair with your child on your lap. This is important for children two years and under. Older children may be willing to sit on their own with the parent close by. 

The dentist will begin by examining every tooth, whether the child has one tooth or several teeth. The dentist will count the teeth and examine the gums, bite, and jaw. In some cases, the dentist may decide to take X-rays. This happens when the child is four years old.  


Cleaning Process 

Dentists perform dental cleaning during each dental exam. For babies and toddlers, they use a regular kid’s brush for cleaning. This is an opportunity for parents to learn how to brush their kids’ teeth at home. For kids who are four years and older, the dentist may use a rubber polishing brush. This will provide gentle yet deep cleaning results. 


Fluoride Treatment

For locations where piped water does not have fluoride, a pediatric dental exam will include applying fluoride treatments. This will help protect the child’s teeth. The treatment involves applying fluoride on the child’s teeth using a brush. The procedure takes a few seconds, and it is comfortable for the child. 


Learning Useful Tips

After the exam, the dentist will offer tips about your child’s dental health. The tips include teething and tooth development, ways to prevent cavities, and the right way to use fluoride. You can also find out ways to prevent dental accidents and avoid trauma to the child’s teeth. The dentist will also offer instructions on diet and oral hygiene.

It is vital to realize that more than one in four children develop cavities before their fourth birthday. This means that it is not too early for your child to get their first pediatric dental exam.

For more on pediatric dental exams, visit Elite Dentistry & Implant Center at our office in Chelsea, Alabama. You can call 205-224-0040 today to schedule an appointment.