The age 1 care visit is similar to a well-baby check up at the physician’s office.
At the visit, you should expect the dentist or hygienist to:
- Review your child’s history
- Respond to your questions and concerns
- Talk with you about your child’s overall oral health, including:
- Bite (how your child’s teeth will come together)
- Soft tissues such as gums and cheeks
- Oral habits such as sucking
- Factors that affect the risk of cavities such as diet, hygiene practices, fluoride use, and whether others in the family have had cavities
- How to prevent trauma to your child’s mouth
Thoroughly examine your child’s mouth in the knee-to-knee position. You and the dentist sit on chairs facing each other.
Your child sits on your lap, facing you. You then lay your child back with his or her head in the dentist’s lap. In this position, both you and dentist can see clearly into your child’s mouth, and your child can look up at you in comfort throughout the visit.
Your child’s dentist should:
- Show you how to properly clean your child’s teeth and give you a chance to practice
- Give specific advice about home care, including hygiene, diet, and use of toothpaste and other fluorides
- Tell you what to expect as your child grows and develops in the coming months
- Suggest a schedule for follow-up care
The dentist or hygienist may also clean your child’s teeth. This is likely to occur if your child’s teeth have a stain that commonly appears in infants. The dentist or hygienist also may apply fluoride, particularly if your child has a higher-than-average risk of developing cavities.
Before leaving the office, you should have a clear idea about:
- Your child’s development
- Your responsibilities
- Follow-up care by the dentist
- Your child’s likelihood of having problems with cavities or bite
You should have your questions answered. You also should know what you and the dentist can do together to make sure your child has excellent oral health.
To read more from Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine on your child’s first visit to the dentist, visit: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/childrens-oral-care/article/your-childs-first-dental-visit