Your baby's first dental visit is an important milestone in their oral health journey. It's a great opportunity for parents to learn how to properly care for their child's teeth and gums, and to get answers to any questions they may have. During the visit, you can expect a complete exam of your baby's teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check for growth and development. If necessary, gentle cleaning can be performed, followed by polishing the teeth and removing plaque, tartar and stains.
The dentist may also provide a short tutorial on how to properly use dental floss and fluoride. Research suggests that for every year that parents delay booking their first appointment with the dentist of a child, the child's chances of having tooth decay nearly double. That's why it's so important to schedule a dental checkup for your baby when their first tooth comes out. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association all recommend that you take your child for a dental checkup no later than their first birthday, even if they haven't had any teeth yet.
So what exactly happens at a dental appointment for babies? As you might expect, your child's pediatric dentist will examine your baby's teeth. They will use some dental instruments to gently check your gums and the health of your teeth. We'll provide you with “sunglasses” to make sure the light doesn't bother you, or you can close your eyes and relax. You might hear your dentist talk about their findings while your dental hygienist and dental assistant take notes, and we'll also explain everything to you throughout the process.
The entire consultation will focus on getting to know you, your mouth and your dental health goals. Finally, your baby's first dental appointment is an excellent opportunity for you to get answers to all of your questions related to oral health. For example, if your child has defects in tooth enamel, you may need to take extra precautions to prevent tooth decay. Dr.
Friedman received his doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Maryland's Baltimore School of Dental Surgery in 1996. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Cornell University and his doctorate in dentistry (DDS). After graduating cum laude from dental school, he completed his postdoctoral training in pediatric dentistry at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where he served as chief resident and worked with children with a wide variety of special medical and dental needs, including children with rare syndromes.