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Angelica Guzman, Dental Assistant
The Importance Of the Age One Dental Visit
Michael King DDS (Mira Dental Care)

The Importance Of the Age One Dental Visit

How old were where you when you first went to the dentist? Many of you probably had your first dental appointment when you were five yeras old or older.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association and the American Public Health Association all recommend that children have their first dental visit by age one.

Why, you ask? Getting children in the habit of going to the dentist early decreases the chance that they will develop fear of going to the dentist and reduce their chances of future dental disease. This will then reduce associated oral health costs and also improve their oral health throughout childhood.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control have found an increase in the number of cavities in children ages two – four years old. Toothaches or oral pain are the leading cause of children missing school.

Your next question is probably what does the age one dental visit entail? At the first appointment a risk assessment and oral evaluation is usually completed to see what level of risk the child may be at for developing cavities.

Also, parents may receive counseling so that they know how to properly care for their child's teeth. Preventative measures such as fluoride treatments and polishing may also be done at this appointment. If necessary, dental referrals may also be provided. Lastly, the appointment usually concludes with a trip to the prize box.

The main goal of a child's first dental appointment is to start building a trustworthy relationship between the child and the office staff.

The hygienist will then use the “show, tell, do” method before they start working first showing the child what will be done, then telling them and then actually doing it. The purpose of this appointment is not to scare the child but for them to see that coming to the dentist is fun and easy.

Easy ways to care for your child's teeth at home include brushing twice daily once their first tooth erupts, transitioning your child off the bottle at age one to the cup, and also monitoring your child's diet. Also it is important to realize that your personal dental fear shouldn't keep you from taking your child.

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