When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit

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When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit


According to the American Dental Association, your child’s first dental visit should occur within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday.  A dental visit at an early age can be considered as important as a “well-baby checkup” for the teeth.  During this visit, a member of our Mountain Aire Dentistry team can help show you how to properly clean your child’s teeth and also help you troubleshoot thumb-sucking or other habits that could impact how your child’s teeth or mouth forms as they grow. They can also evaluate the current health of your child’s mouth and remove any tooth decay that may be present. Deciding to be engaged early in the oral health of your children will help prevent problems that could affect their dental health and smile for years to come.

The First Dental Visit

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of scheduling your child’s first dental visit by his first birthday or when you see the first tooth emerge.  You can prevent most tooth conditions and problems by helping your child establish a foundation of oral wellness early on. This begins with early treatment and assessment and continues with regular home treatment and biannual visits to our office.

We Put You and Your Child at Ease

At Mountain Aire Dentistry we understand that the first dental visit is a first for you AND for your child!  It is a new experience and it is normal to have some anxiety associated with it.  We want to put your mind at ease.  We will make your child’s first dental visit memorable and fun! Your child’s first dental visit will be short and informal — more of a meet and greet for your child and the dentist.  Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, you may be asked to hold him while the dentist looks around in his mouth.  Dr. Berry will check for decay and look at your child’s gums, jaw, and bite.

What Next?

Depending on the age and comfort level of your child, he may have his first cleaning at his first dental visit, or you may schedule the cleaning for a time soon to follow.  After his teeth are cleaned, a fluoride application will be put on the teeth to help keep the enamel strong and prevent cavities.  Dr. Berry will then explain the home treatment process.  Well-established oral-hygiene habits in your home help you prevent tooth decay and are an essential part of your role with your child’s oral health.  We will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about toddler teething, thumbsucking, tooth-friendly foods, or anything else that pertains to your toddler’s oral health during your visit with us. We also recommend that you prepare a list of questions you may have before your child’s first dental visit so you can make sure you get your answers from Dr. Berry before you leave.

Oral Health Risk Assessment

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child have an oral health risk assessment by 6 months of age. Dr. Berry visually assesses the health of your child’s teeth and conducts a thorough interview with the parents to identify any conditions your child may be predisposed to through genetics. Tooth decay is a disease that is preventable. When we have all the information, we can get ahead of issues.  

Treatments Available

To help you prevent tooth decay, and to treat any that is present, Mountain Aire Dentistry provides the following services for our young patients:

  • Preventive care including oral hygiene instruction, diet counseling, fluoride treatment and cleanings
  • Sealants ( to prevent decay)
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Emergency / trauma care
  • Orthodontic evaluations and referrals

During your child’s first dental visit, one of our experienced Mountain Aire Dentistry team will give you an overview of all the services that we offer your child and answer any questions you may have.

The Importance of Home Treatment

Brushing Teeth

Use a soft, wet cloth wrapped around your finger to wipe off your baby’s gums after he eats–even before teeth buds form. Transition to using a toothbrush and tap water as the back molars emerge.  Create a healthy habit that becomes a recognized part of your child’s daily routine by practicing gum and teeth cleaning early on.  Create opportunities so your child can see you brushing your teeth. This gives them a good example to follow.  Incorporate a fluoride toothpaste after your child has reached two years of age.  For best success with brushing, choose a size-appropriate toothbrush for your child.  (The size and recommended age is featured on the packaging.)  

Flossing Teeth

Start flossing your child’s teeth once a day as soon as two teeth emerge that touch. The use of floss sticks or picks instead of regular string floss may be easier for both you and your child. Most children lack the coordination to brush or floss their teeth on their own until about the age of 6 or 7. Remember, your example of brushing and flossing your teeth will help your child to develop the same healthy habits.  

Disclosing Tablets

Use disclosing tablets occasionally to assess the areas that need more attention when you brush and floss.  Disclosing tablets will leave a color residue on your teeth where plaque has accumulated. Disclosing tablets can be purchased at most drugstores.

Mouth-Healthy Diets

Give your child nutritious foods to help maintain healthy gums, establish strong teeth, and to help prevent tooth decay. Nutritious choices include:  whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Limit foods that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, such as pastries, pasta, and white bread.

Call for an Appointment

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you and your children visit your family dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.  These dental checkups help to ensure the health of your teeth and gums while eliminating plaque buildup and the prevention of tooth decay. It’s much easier to teach children to develop strong brushing and flossing habits when they hear a dentist backing up your instructions.  Dr. Berry is a family dentist in Broomfield, Colorado, with convenient access to the communities of Thornton, Broomfield, Northglenn and Westminster.  Mountain Aire Dentistry offers state-of-the-art family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Call for your appointment today at  (303) 731-7755. We look forward to meeting you and your family!