Age One Dental Appointment – Why is it so important?

Getting your child started early with good oral hygiene and a regular checkup with her pediatric dentist is important for your child’s dental health and overall health.  The Drs. Atkins, Maestrello, Miller and Associates and all the wonderful staff make your child’s first dental experience pleasant, fun and educational.

First Dental Check-up:

Traditional guidelines recommended that the first dental appointment occur around three years of age. What we have learned is that during this time oral health can be compromised by poor oral hygiene or improper feeding habits. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now recommends the first oral examination occur no later than 12 months of age.

What to expect for your child’s first dental visit:

Many parents have anxiety about bringing their child in for their first dental check-up. We treat children all day and pride ourselves on making it as smooth and fun a process as possible. The appointment usually starts with the dentist and assistant talking to you about your oral hygiene and nutritional routines at home. Our goal is to help provide you with the tools and information to help keep your child cavity free. We will show your child all of our tools that we will use and depending on their age and level of cooperation, we will clean and examine their teeth. A fluoride varnish will be placed to help strengthen the enamel of your child’s teeth. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to your child about their upcoming dental appointment the week before. Practice with them in front of the mirror opening their mouth while you count their teeth. We love Dr. Seuss’ The Tooth Book. Reading a book to your child is a fun way to introduce good oral hygiene.

We know this first visit can be as stressful for the parent as it is for the child and we are here to make it as smooth as possible. We appreciate your guidance in how to make the first appointment as much fun as possible.

Healthy Habits Between Visits:

Brushing and Flossing

Children don’t have the necessary psychomotor skills to brush effectively until they are 7 years old. If a child can’t mop the floor without missing any spots then they are not ready to brush effectively. Flossing effectively occurs around 9 years of age. So twice a day spend time helping your child brush and floss.

Fluoride in Public Water

Fluoridation of public water sources is one of the most cost-effective public health measures of the 21st century. Ingested FI- is incorporated into the dentin and enamel of unerupted teeth, making them more resistant to acid demineralization.

Fluoride Tooth Recommendations

Any “ADA approved” toothpaste containing fluoride is fine. The concentration of fluoride in these toothpastes is generally 1000 parts per million. Although these toothpastes are great for teeth please keep them out of the reach of small children and put the toothpaste on the child’s teeth.

Call us today! A lifetime of health starts with caring for your child’s teeth. We look forward to seeing your child soon!

Dr. Amanda Amanda Kerns, DDS is a pediatric dentist at Drs. Atkins, Maestrello, Miller and Associates Pediatric Dentistry in Richmond, VA. She loves meeting new families at work and spending time with her husband and two boxers down at the James River.

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