Oral care for children is extremely important for several reasons. Not only does it help to make sure that your child’s teeth are presently in good condition, but it sets your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. While there is no set age to bring your child in for their first dental visit, the appearance of a baby’s first teeth is generally considered to be the best time.
When it’s time for your child’s first visit to the dentist, Faye Licata, DMD, FAGD, of Licata Dental in St. Louis, Missouri, is ready to assist your family. Pediatric patients are welcome and regularly treated by Dr. Licata, who understands the necessity of teaching children to be at ease at the dentist, and, of course, the importance of regular checkups.
Though we recommend that you bring your child for their first dental visit when their teeth first emerge, or when they’re around six months old, their initial visit should happen no later than one year of age. Since Dr. Licata regularly works with children, our examination room is kid-friendly, designed to keep your child comfortable and calm.
Morning appointments are best for young children. Younger children tend to be more alert and fresh earlier in the day.
When you arrive, pay attention to your child’s reaction when you enter the dentist’s office — some children may feel a little more independent and will consent to sitting in the dentist’s chair alone. Children under two years of age will typically have a more difficult time being away from you, while children aged three and over may feel less afraid.
It might help to have your child lay in your lap during their first dental examination. Once you’re in your examination room, Dr. Licata introduces herself and talks to you and your child about the examination before she begins.
Dr. Licata examines your child’s little teeth slowly and gently and makes sure there are no signs of gum disease or tooth decay. Dr. Licata also examines your child’s jaw and checks their soft tissues for any abnormalities.
Your child’s first visit with Dr. Licata may last around 45 minutes. Afterward, she talks to you and your child about their continued oral health and its importance to their overall health and wellness. She goes over diet and brushing habits, and advises the best methods of protecting your child’s teeth and establishing good dental habits.
Before your appointment with Dr. Licata, we encourage you to talk to your child about their upcoming visit to the dentist. It’s a good idea to mention the bright examination light, the use of personal protective equipment, and that the dentist uses lots of special little tools to keep their mouths healthy and happy.
Ask them if they have any questions, and don’t be afraid to tell them you aren’t sure, but that the dentist knows.
It’s important that you talk to Dr. Licata about your child’s complete health history, and that you come prepared with questions and concerns about your child’s oral health. Dr. Licata may clean your child’s teeth during their first appointment and will want to see your child again for a second cleaning in six months.
Dr. Licata looks forward to every opportunity to help your child establish good oral health habits, including coming in for regular cleanings. If it’s time for your child’s first dental appointment, call us at 636-532-2101 or book a visit online today!