Before you know it, the newborn you just brought home will be celebrating their first birthday! Between feedings, naps, diaper changes, and the throng of visitors checking in, your brain is likely on overload. A visit to the dentist may not be on your radar yet, but it should be!!
The teams at East Brunswick and Marlton Pediatric Dentistry follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) to protect the littlest smiles from turning to frowns. As a general rule of thumb, infants should either visit the dentist within six months of cutting their first tooth or by the time they turn one-year-old.
Start Early with Infant Dental Care
Books, videos, and role playing games are your friends when it comes to preparing for your child’s dental appointments. It is important for infants and children to hear the big people in their lives talking positively about the dentist. When visits to the dentist happen on a regular basis beginning in infancy, it is just another familiar place by the time they get a mouthful of teeth.
Parents and guardians can help make the first visit smoother by taking care of the paperwork ahead of time. Our website has a new patient form that can be downloaded and filled out before your appointment so you can focus on your little one. It’s a good idea to create a list of questions you have about infant oral and dental care ahead of time, so they can be answered at the time of the visit.
What to Expect During the First Visit
For safety’s sake, you will likely sit in the dental chair with your child. Whether it is because they are unable to sit on their own or they need emotional support , this is how we make the visit the most productive. The dentist will look at how many teeth have erupted, the health of those teeth and gums, and the bone structure of the infant’s mouth. Like with most health-related issues, the sooner you catch dental problems, the easier it usually is to correct them.
Wiggling and tears are normal during new experiences. Our dental team understands and is committed to making infant dental care a positive experience for all.
Tips for Success
- Pick an appointment time that works around naptime, so your child is not tired. Tired infants and toddlers are not usually receptive to new experiences. We usually recommend younger patients be seen in the morning.
- Model the behavior you would like to see in your child. Happy, calm adults help reassure children that a dentist office is a good place. Remember, we are on the same team
Why is it important for infants and toddlers to visit the dentist so early?
As soon as teeth break the surface, they are susceptible to cavities. Prevention goes a long way in protecting your child’s smile for years to come. Whether you are looking for infant dental care in East Brunswick or Marlton, our dentists are here for you. Call (732) 238-5100 (East Brunswick Office) or (856) 291-6888 (Marlton Office) to schedule an appointment!