What to Know About Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment

Perhaps you’re here because you realize that not only adults and teenagers get cavities. In reality, younger children may develop cavities as well, even in their earliest years. As a result of cavities at an early age, a child’s first tooth may fall out. 

With that being said, it is vital to set a first dental appointment for your child. Even if your child has no teeth, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association all suggest that they get a dental exam by the time they turn one.

You must learn about when your child should go to the dentist, what will happen during their first dental exam, and whether they should see a pediatric or family dentist. Read on to learn more.

Do Babies Need to See a Dentist?

More than 21% of American children aged 2 to 5 have dental caries, and children who go to the dentist before their first birthday are less likely to develop dental caries than those who wait. Each year after the first birthday, a child’s risk of getting dental decay roughly doubles.

For starters, many parents are unaware of their infant’s dental health. Unfortunately, oral health ignorance among children makes parenting more difficult. As mentioned in the preceding section, a baby’s first dental visit is an excellent opportunity for parents to learn about cavity prevention.

Additionally, your child’s dentist can help you address early decay before it becomes a cavity. Bring your child to the dentist as soon as possible to cure tooth decay before irreversible harm develops.

Cavities must be treated as soon as possible. Untreated tooth decay in young children can quickly destroy teeth and cause deadly illnesses. Parents frequently confuse tooth decay discomfort with regular teething or other forms of pain because young children are unable to verbalize their anguish. Taking your child to the dentist on a regular basis, beginning before their first birthday, can help address cavities early and keep them healthy and comfortable.

A Child’s First Dental Exam

What happens at newborn dentist appointments? Your child’s teeth will be examined by the pediatric dentist. The dentist will check for tooth decay and any particular needs. If your child lacks enamel, you may need to take extra precautions to keep their teeth from decaying.

Nonetheless, many patients’ early visits are mostly educational for their parents. Your child’s pediatric dentist will show you how to care for your infant’s teeth and gums. Your child’s pediatric dentist will show you how to properly clean your infant’s teeth in order to protect their oral health.

The pediatric dentist will also ask about your diet and give advice. The effect of food and drink on children’s dental health often takes parents by surprise. 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises against giving youngsters juice in bottles or sippy cups; giving sugary teething treats and starchy foods like white bread. Early conversations about your child’s eating habits with a pediatric dentist might provide precise recommendations for fostering tooth-friendly eating.

Finally, your child’s first dental exam is a great time to ask about all of your oral health concerns. This is also an opportunity to address difficulty weaning your child off of pacifiers and how to soothe your child’s teething.

Pediatric Dentist vs. General Dentist for Babies and Children

Following graduation from dental school, pediatric dentists receive two years of specialized training in advanced pediatric surgical procedures, child psychology and behavior management, pediatric sedation dentistry, and pediatric pharmacology.

Pediatric dentists are experts in the field of dentistry for children. According to surveys, many general dentists have never gotten hands-on training in newborn oral examinations and feel uneasy working with such small infants. Pediatric dentists diagnose, treat, and educate parents about their children’s dental health.


One way to keep your baby and young child healthy is to make sure that their dental health is also in check. After all, this is simply a part of their development. By taking your one-year-old to a dentist, you can get expert advice and ensure your baby’s safety.

Are you looking for a pediatric dentist in Westborough, MA? Family Dental of Westborough is here to make sure your family’s dental needs are addressed and given attention. Schedule an appointment with our team today!

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