First Dental Visit

When should a child’s first dental visit be scheduled?

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say that the first dental visit should occur within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears, but no later than the child’s first birthday. It’s best to meet the dentist when your child is having no dental problems—don’t wait until an emergency comes up.

At Advanced Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the more knowledge you have, the better equipped you’ll be when it comes to establishing and maintaining good dental habits for your little one.

What to expect at your child’s dental visit?

The APD team will examine your child’s teeth and gums. We will answer any questions you have about your baby’s teeth. We will show you how to clean your child’s teeth, discuss the benefits of a good diet and fluoride treatments. Preventative care is very important, it will save time, money and teeth. We will schedule regular dental visits to help maintain a beautiful smile and good dental health.

For a detailed look at your child’s first visit at APD, download the social story book for the office you plan to visit – Mechanicsburg or Harrisburg. It is a great way for everyone to see what to expect!

Tips for a positive dental visit?

  • Schedule your child’s appointment at a time of day that they are more rested and cooperative, mornings are usually better for most children.
  • Leave your anxiety at home. Stay positive before and during the visit. Focus on Calibur and all the other fun things that Advanced Pediatric Dentistry has to offer. Your child will follow your lead and be more positive as well.
  • Don’t bribe your child to go to the dentist
  • Don’t use going to the dentist as a punishment or threat. They will associate it with a negative emotion.
  • Teach your child good habits at a young age. This will positively impact the amount of dental work they will have over their lifetime.

How do primary “baby” teeth develop?

Baby teeth are very important for your child’s development. They help your child chew and speak. They also hold a space in your child’s jaw for the permanent teeth growing under the gums.

A newborn usually has 20 baby teeth partially formed inside their gums at birth. The first teeth to emerge are the 2 upper and 2 lower front teeth. This usually occurs between 6-12 months of age. Usually by age 3 children have all 20 of their baby teeth established in their mouth.

Here is a chart that will help you monitor your child’s baby teeth development and when they are typically shed to allow for the emerging permanent teeth. This is just a general guide, not all children get the same teeth at the same times. If you have any concerns, please contact us and we can schedule an exam to make sure there are no problems with your child’s teeth development.

Teeth Chart

When does tooth decay start?

Tooth decay can start as soon as your child has their first tooth emerge.

Why is it important to have a dentist check a child’s baby teeth when they are going to be replaced with permanent teeth?

The most important reason is that decay in a baby tooth means a higher risk of decay in the permanent teeth. This could affect your child’s dental health long term. If the decay is severe enough it can harm the child’s overall health as well.

What causes tooth decay?

Natural bacteria in the mouth changes the sugar found in foods and drinks into acid. This acid can attack the teeth up to 20 minutes or longer after each time you eat or drink. After many attacks, tooth decay can develop and lead to cavities.

How can I help protect my child’s baby teeth?

Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle. Liquid pools around the teeth when a child falls asleep with a bottle in their mouth.

Minimize the amount of sugar your child eats and drinks. Liquids like fruit juice and soda contain sugar. Do not allow your child to constantly sip on sugary drinks or snack on sugary foods.

A lot of changes happen from infant to toddler.

We are here to guide you and answer any questions you may have about your child’s dental health. Give us a call during regular office hours at 717-697-KIDS (5437) or request an appointment online so we can talk.