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A Child's First Dental Visit Fact Sheet

When should your child first see a dentist? You can take your child at a younger age, but experts recommend taking him or her within 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months at the latest.

At this time, the dentist can give you information on:

Baby bottle tooth decay

Infant feeding practices

Mouth cleaning

Pacifier habits

Finger-sucking habits

Prepare your child

If possible, schedule morning appointments so young children are alert and fresh.

Prepare a preschooler or older child for the visit by giving him or her a general idea of what to expect. Explain why it is important to go to the dentist. Build excitement and understanding.

Prepare yourself

Discuss your questions and concerns with the dentist. Remember that your feeling toward dental visits can be quite different from your child's. Be honest with your view of the dentist. If you have dental anxieties, be careful not to relate those fears or dislikes to your child. Parents need to give moral support by staying calm while in the dental exam room. Children can pick up parents' anxieties and become anxious themselves.

Prepare the dentist

At the first visit, give the dentist your child's complete health history. For a restoration visit, such as getting a cavity filled, tell the dentist if your child tends to be stubborn, defiant, anxious, or fearful in other situations.

Watch how your child reacts. Many parents are able to guess how their child will respond and should tell the dentist. Certain behaviors may be linked to your child's age:

10 to 24 months. Some securely attached children may get upset when taken from their parents for an exam.

2 to 3 years. A securely attached child may be able to cope with a brief separation from parents. In a 2-year-old, "no" may be a common response.

3 years. Three-year-olds may not be OK being apart from a parent when having a dental procedure such as getting a cavity filled. This is because most 3-year-olds are not socially mature enough to separate from parents.

4 years. Most children should be able to sit in another room from parents for exams and treatment procedures.

The first visit

Your child's first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. The first dental visit is recommended by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in. The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on your child's age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. If needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains. The dentist may show you and your child proper home cleaning such as flossing, and advise you on the need for fluoride. Baby teeth fall out, so X-rays aren’t often done. But your child's dentist may recommend X-rays to diagnose decay, depending on your child's age. X-rays are also used to see if the root of a jammed baby tooth may be affecting an adult tooth. In general, it is best that young children not have dental X-rays unless absolutely needed.

The second visit

Just like adults, children should see the dentist every 6 months. Some dentists may schedule visits more often, such as every 3 months. This can build comfort and confidence in the child. More frequent visits can also help keep an eye on a development problem.

Protect your children's teeth at home

 Here are some tips to protect your children's teeth:

Before teeth come in, clean gums with a clean, damp cloth.

Start brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) when your child's first tooth appears. Use a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste after 3 years of age. This is when the child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.

Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Don't give children a bottle of milk, juice, or sweetened liquid at bedtime or when put down to nap.

Limit the time your child has a bottle. Your child should empty a bottle in 5 to 6 minutes or less.

Help your child brush his or her own teeth until age 7 or 8. Have the child watch you brush, and follow the same brushing pattern to reduce missed spots.

Limit foods and treats that increase tooth decay. This includes hard or sticky candies, fruit leather, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit rather than juice. The fiber in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean. Juice just exposes the teeth to sugar.

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When Should My Child Have Their First Dental Appointment?

First tooth. first birthday. first dental appointment..

As a mom or dad to your little one, you get to experience so many ‘firsts’ right alongside them. Their first word, first day of school, and even their first dental appointment. We want to make your child’s first trip to the dentist a fun and memorable one that sets the tone of healthy habits your child will retain for a lifetime.

How old should my child be when they visit the dentist?

A common question new parents ask is, “How soon should I take my child to the dentist?” According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentists , it’s recommended that kids go in for their first oral health checkup when their baby teeth first begin to emerge or by the time their first birthday comes around. Though it may seem early, this visit is essential to ensure your child doesn’t have any signs of gum or tooth decay and that their teeth are erupting and developing properly. Baby teeth can begin emerging as early as six months, so make sure their dental appointment isn’t far behind!

Did you know that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, yet it is almost always entirely preventable? Often times, kids will come in for their first appointment at three or four years old with cavities and tooth decay that could have been prevented with a routine checkup. That’s why it’s so important to start them young!

What should I expect at my child’s first visit to the dentist?

Our doctors and staff take extra care to make sure your child has fun at their dental visit and that they’re as comfortable as possible. If your child is nervous about their first dental appointment, we always welcome parents to bring their child by our office to take a look around, meet the staff, and get acclimated to our clinic before your visit with us! If you think this would help your child, feel free to give us a call to schedule a tour of our office.

At your child’s dental appointment, a hygienist will: 

  • Examine and clean your baby’s teeth
  • Show you how to play a role in properly cleaning your baby’s teeth (we know it’s not always easy with those tiny little mouths!),
  • Discuss diet and fluoride needs
  • Recommend oral care products.

Your dentist will then join you and your baby. They will:

  • Examine your baby’s mouth closely to check for any tooth decay
  • Share any concerns they may have regarding your baby’s oral development.
  • Answer all of your questions regarding your baby’s teeth and oral development.

At your child’s first dental appointment, the doctor may conduct what we call a knee-to-knee exam . This technique will help your child feel even more comfortable since they’ll be laid in your lap as we go through their oral health checkup. Your baby’s visit will conclude by us providing a patient dental health bag, complete with a specially-sized infant or toddler toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. Find out more about what to expect when accompanying your child to their dental checkup . Online Form – CDH – Organic

Ready to get your child’s smile on track?

To schedule your child’s first appointment, give us a call at 1-(866) KIDS-DENTAL .

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When Should Baby Visit the Dentist for the First Time?

When to schedule baby's first dental visit, how to choose a dentist for your child, read this next, what happens at baby's first dentist visit, tips to make your child’s dentist visit easier, how often to visit the dentist.

Based on how your toddler’s teeth look, your dentist will let you know when to make the next visit. Most experts recommend that toddlers see the dentist about every six months — as long as there are no major problems. So don’t forget to schedule your child’s second appointment on your way out the door!

What to Expect the First Year , 3rd Edition, Heidi Murkoff. What to Expect the Second Year , Heidi Murkoff. WhatToExpect.com, Toddler Dental Care , March 2019. WhatToExpect.com, Is Your Toddler Teething? , April 2020. WhatToExpect.com, Preventing Cavities and Keeping Baby's Teeth Healthy , April 2020. WhatToExpect.com, Brushing Baby's Teeth , July 2020. American Academy of Pediatrics, Baby's First Tooth: 7 Facts Parents Should Know , November 2020. American Academy of Pediatrics, Good Oral Health Starts Early , November 2020 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Frequently Asked Questions , 2021. American Dental Association, Taking Care of Your Child’s Smile , May 2014.
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How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

Verywell / Madelyn Goodnight

What to Expect

Choosing a dentist.

  • Getting Ready For The Visit

Preparing as a Parent

One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a Pediatric Dentist is, “When should I bring my baby in for their first dental visit?”

The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child should visit the dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday. While it may sound early, starting at that age will start your baby on a path for great oral health and prevent a number of dental problems that can occur during childhood.

The first visit gives parents a chance to become educated on how to properly care for their child's teeth and gives children a chance to become comfortable with the dental environment at an early age.

At the first visit, the dentist will examine your baby's mouth to make sure everything is growing and developing properly and will check for dental caries, tongue ties, and any signs of injuries.

The dentist will typically tell you everything you need to know to keep your child's teeth healthy including:

  • What kind of toothpaste and toothbrush to use
  • Brushing and flossing techniques
  • How to relieve teething discomfort
  • Which foods and drinks cause cavities
  • Answers to questions about pacifier use and thumb-sucking.

The examination and cleaning itself can take just a few minutes, but most of the time is spent on making the child feel comfortable and educating the parents. You should not expect the overall visit to take a long time.

The first step is finding a Pediatric Dentist for your child. Pediatric Dentists have two to three additional years of training after dental school during which they extensively study child development, behavior management of patients from infancy to adolescence, and how best to work with special needs children.

Most Pediatric Dentists will aim to provide a fun environment with toys, stickers, TVs, games, yummy flavored toothpaste, and staff that enjoy working with children. When children are having fun, they gain trust in the dentist and staff, and will often enjoy their visits and look forward to their next appointment.

Where to Find a Dentist

To find a Pediatric Dentist in your area, you can Google nearby pediatric dentists, talk to other parents you know for recommendations, and ask your child's pediatrician or your own dentist. If you have dental insurance, you can search for a Pediatric Dentist through your list of participating providers.

Getting Ready For Your Child's Visit

When you have decided on an office, call them to schedule a visit. Young children tend to do their best in the morning when they are fresh and full of energy. Avoid scheduling appointments late in the day or close to nap times when children can be groggy or cranky.

You can inquire if it is possible for you and your child to come to the office for a tour and to meet the doctor before the actual day of the checkup. If your child has any special needs, discuss it with the staff member that schedules your appointment. The dentist will often want a little extra time scheduled for this.

If there is something in particular that keeps your child calm and happy (a song they like to hear, a video they like to watch or simply a color they like), let the dentist know so they can try to incorporate that into the visit.

Mental Preparation

Once you have an appointment scheduled, start preparing your child for the visit. Children learn best when they are having fun. You can practice giving their stuffed animal a checkup with a toy mirror.

Your child can bring that same stuffed animal to the dental visit to get a check-up by the dentist. Read books to them. I recommend:

  • Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer)
  • Dentist Trip (Peppa Pig)
  • Elmo Visits the Dentist by P.J. Shaw

You can also watch one of the many YouTube videos about going to the dentist, such as Daniel Tiger's .

Put Them At Ease

When talking to your child about their upcoming trip to the dentist, you can assure them that there are no shots at this visit and that the dentist will simply examine and brush their teeth and talk to them about how to keep their teeth healthy.

Let them know that the dentist will show them all of the tools and explain all of the procedures before starting. You can also plan a treat (not candy or junk food) such as a trip to the park or toy store should they need a little extra motivation.

Anticipating Follow Up Visits

Once you've completed your first visit, it's time to start preparing your child for their second visit! Discuss the visit with your child and remind them of the positive things that happened such as:

  • There were no shots
  • Nothing hurt
  • The toothpaste tasted great
  • The toothbrush tickled
  • The dentist counted all of your teeth and now we know how many teeth you have
  • You got prizes and a new toothbrush at the end
  • Next time we go there, we'll get these fun prizes all over again!

To prepare yourself, come on time, if possible a few minutes earlier to fill out any registration and consent forms that may be needed. Many offices have their registration forms on their website so you can fill them out in advance.

Give your dentist a complete health history of your child. If your child is taking any medications, have a list of the medications and dosages. Have your child's pediatrician's contact information available.

If you have any particular questions that you want the dentist to address, write them down so you don't forget to ask them if the dentist doesn't bring those topics up.

It is also important to have reasonable expectations of your child. During the visit, some children may open their mouths willingly and enjoy the experience, while some will not, just as some do not enjoy getting haircuts or wearing seatbelts. Luckily, with preparation and sticking to a regular recall schedule (typically every six months), the visits will get easier and more enjoyable each time.

Many children that may start out fearful or anxious can become patients that love going to the dentist once they've been a few times.  

By Rashmi Ambewadikar, DDS  Rashmi Ambewadikar, DDS is a pediatric dentist practicing in Queens, New York and is the owner of Astoria Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. 

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Health Encyclopedia

A child's first dental visit fact sheet.

When should your child first see a dentist? You can take your child at a younger age, but experts recommend taking your child within 6 months of the first tooth coming in (erupting), or by about 12 months at the latest.

At this time, the dentist can give you information on:

Baby bottle tooth decay

Infant feeding practices

Mouth cleaning

Pacifier habits

Finger-sucking habits

Prepare your child

If possible, schedule morning appointments so young children are alert and fresh.

Prepare a preschooler or older child for the visit by giving them a general idea of what to expect. You can tell them about the exam room, the instruments they might see, the face masks the dentist and hygienist may wear, and the bright exam light. Explain why it is important to go to the dentist. Build excitement and understanding.

Prepare yourself

Discuss your questions and concerns with the dentist. Remember that your feeling toward dental visits can be quite different from your child's. Be honest with your view of the dentist. If you have dental anxieties, be careful not to relate those fears or dislikes to your child. Parents need to give moral support by staying calm while in the dental exam room. Children can pick up parents' anxieties and become anxious themselves.

Prepare the dentist

If you don't know the dentist, interview the person first to see if they sound right for your child's needs and personality. At the first visit, give the dentist your child's complete health history. For a restoration visit, such as getting a cavity filled, tell the dentist if your child tends to be stubborn, defiant, anxious, or fearful in other situations. Ask the dentist how they handle such behavior. If you aren't comfortable with the answer, find another dentist.

Watch how your child reacts. Many parents are able to guess how their child will respond and should tell the dentist. Certain behaviors may be linked to your child's age:

10 to 24 months. Some securely attached children may get upset when taken from their parents for an exam.

2 to 3 years. A securely attached child may be able to cope with a brief separation from parents. In a 2-year-old, "no" may be a common response.

3 years. Three-year-olds may not be OK being apart from a parent when having a dental procedure, such as getting a cavity filled. This is because most 3-year-olds are not socially mature enough to separate from parents.

4 years. Most children should be able to sit in another room from parents for exams and treatment procedures.

The first visit

Your child's first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. The first dental visit is recommended by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in. The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on your child's age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. If needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains. The dentist may show you and your child correct home cleaning, such as flossing, and advise you on the need for fluoride. Baby teeth fall out, so X-rays aren’t often done. But your child's dentist may recommend X-rays to diagnose decay, depending on your child's age. X-rays are also used to see if the root of a jammed baby tooth may be affecting an adult tooth. In general, it is best that young children not have dental X-rays unless absolutely needed.

The second visit

Just like adults, children should see the dentist every 6 months. Some dentists may schedule visits more often, such as every 3 months. This can build comfort and confidence in the child. More frequent visits can also help keep an eye on a developmental problem. Talk to your dentist about payment options if the cost of dental care is a problem for you.

Protect your children's teeth at home

 Here are some tips to protect your children's teeth:

Before teeth come in, clean gums with a clean, damp cloth.

Start brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) when your child's first tooth appears. Use a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste after 3 years of age. Children should spit after brushing. Encourage them not to swallow extra toothpaste.

Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Only put breastmilk or formula in bottles. Don't give children a bottle of juice, soft drinks, or sweetened liquid.

Limit the time your child has a bottle. Children should finish bottles before going to sleep.

Encourage your child to use a cup around their first birthday.

Help your child brush their teeth until age 7 or 8. Have the child watch you brush and follow the same brushing pattern to reduce missed spots.

Limit foods and treats that increase tooth decay. This includes hard or sticky candies, fruit leather, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit rather than juice. The fiber in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean. Juice just exposes the teeth to sugar.

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Your child’s first dental visit 

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A child’s first visit to the dentist is an exciting milestone. But it’s also an important appointment that can help set them on a lifelong path toward good oral health.

The right time to schedule a first visit is within six months of their first tooth coming in, or no later than their first birthday. This timing is crucial because it’s important to: 

check-mark-blue

Learn how to help your child avoid cavities and reduce health risks.

Find out who to call if there is an emergency.

Get to know your child’s dentist.

In the long run, you’ll also save money by learning how to take care of your child’s oral health and reducing the risk of more serious or expensive issues. 

Getting your child ready 

In advance of the visit, give them an idea of what to expect:

Go over what will happen at the appointment (more on that below). And be sure not to pass on any personal fear you may have of dentists to your child.  Give them every opportunity to enjoy their first visit.

Explain why it’s important to go to the dentist and how it keeps them healthy.

Take time to answer any questions they may have. 

Try to schedule a morning appointment when your child is likely to be more awake and attentive. 

The day of the visit, go over what to expect one more time. Don’t share any negative experiences that you or other family members may have had with the dentist – instead, remain calm and positive! Your child will likely mirror the feelings you express about the appointment.

It can help to bring a comfort item or quiet game so they can have a little fun while they wait. It’s also an option to plan a positive reward for after the appointment.

What will happen during the visit?

During the routine exam, the dentist will check your child for cavities and review overall growth and development. The dentist will also demonstrate how to properly brush and floss your child’s teeth at home to make sure you’re as effective as possible in removing the plaque bacteria from all tooth surfaces.

To help you continue to care for your child’s oral health, you and your dentist will also: 

Discuss food, drinks, and habits that can cause cavities and healthy alternatives

Review the vital role fluoride plays in strengthening tooth enamel and protecting your child’s smile

Be given helpful information for preventing accidents as your child grows

Why is it important to practice good oral health care from an early age? Because untreated oral health issues will continue to worsen over time – and more than half of children ages 6 to 8 have had a cavity in at least one baby tooth. 1

By taking your child to the dentist, you’re pointing them toward the path of good oral health. Prepare a little in advance to make sure it’s a great appointment! 

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

A Child’s First Dental Visit: What to Expect

first dental visit age 4

In this article

A child’s first dental visit is pivotal in their health care journey. It marks the beginning of a lifelong commitment to oral health.

This first visit isn’t just about checking for cavities or other dental issues⁠—it’s an educational experience for both the child and the parents. This article covers what happens during a child’s first dental visit, including what to expect and how to prepare for the visit.

Introduction to the Dental Office

A child’s first encounter with the dental office is designed to be as welcoming and stress-free as possible. Pediatric dental offices often feature child-friendly decor, including bright colors, toys, and books to make the child feel at ease.

“Remember to bring your child to your local dental office before their first birthday. Before the dental visit, practice opening your child’s mouth at home and counting their teeth.”

Early check-ups help establish a dental home. They also help parents and kids get used to going to the dentist, which can lead to good, lifelong dental habits.

What Happens During the First Dental Visit?

This is what usually happens during your child’s first visit to the dentist:

The Dental Exam

During the exam, the dentist will check the child’s teeth, gums, and jaw for proper development and any signs of potential issues. This examination is gentle and non-invasive.

Dentists will use tools like mouth mirrors to make the child’s experience as comfortable as possible:

“Your child will be given sunglasses, so the light will be blocked out. Your child will be in a knee-to-knee position for the dental exam.”

Cleaning and Preventive Care

A gentle cleaning may be performed, depending on the child’s age and cooperation level. This includes brushing, polishing, and flossing the teeth and removing any plaque or tartar. The dentist may also apply fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay.

“A mouth mirror will be used during the dental exam, and a staff member will show you how to keep your child’s mouth clean.”

Tips for Parents for a Child’s First Dental Visit

Here are some tips for parents bringing their children to the dentist for the first time:

Education and Guidance 

A significant portion of the visit is dedicated to educating parents on proper oral hygiene techniques for their child, dietary recommendations, and managing habits like thumb-sucking.

“After the exam, the dentist will give you useful tips regarding teething and development, how to prevent cavities, proper use of fluoride, ways to prevent accidents and trauma to the teeth, diet, and oral hygiene instructions.”

This information is crucial for parents to help maintain their child’s oral health at home.

Coping with Anxiety

Dentists employ various strategies to make children feel more comfortable, such as explaining procedures in child-friendly language and allowing the child to handle dental instruments.

“Watching a video or reading a children’s book about a dental visit before your child’s appointment can also relieve some anxious feelings towards a dental visit.”

Providing distractions like TV shows or music can also help ease the child’s anxiety.

Pre-Visit Preparation

It’s important for parents to prepare their children for the dentist. You can do the following:

  • Start with storytelling ⁠ — Use children’s books with bright pictures and positive messages to introduce the dentist in a fun way. Share your own positive dental experiences to help them feel comfortable.
  • Role-playing games — Take turns playing dentist and patient with a toothbrush to familiarize them with the process. Create a simple dental kit for them to examine their stuffed animals and dolls, adding an element of fun.
  • Visual and audio aids — Watch engaging videos with characters visiting the dentist to show the positive aspects of dental care. Use interactive apps designed to teach children about dental hygiene and visits in a playful manner.
  • Desensitization — If possible, arrange a casual visit to the dental office beforehand so they can meet the friendly staff and see the environment. Explain the dentist’s tools in simple terms, like the mirror for seeing teeth and the small brush for cleaning.

Follow-up and Future Visits

The first visit also sets the stage for future dental care. Dentists discuss the frequency of visits and what to expect as the child grows.

“Routine evaluations are recommended every 3 to 6 months.”

Regular visits are crucial for monitoring the child’s oral health and addressing any issues early. They’re an opportunity to establish a positive relationship with dental care and to educate parents and children on maintaining good oral health. 

By making the visit informative and stress-free, dental professionals aim to encourage good oral hygiene practices and reduce any potential anxiety associated with dental care.

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  • “What to Expect at Your Child’s 1st Dental Visit.” YouTube, uploaded by Dr. Alida Andersen – Dental Tips, 2017.
  • “What Happens During Child’s First Dental Visit – Children’s Dentist in Camp Hill PA.” YouTube, uploaded by Cumberland Valley Pediatric Dentistry, 2020.
  • “What to Expect at a Child’s First Dental Visit.” YouTube, uploaded by Healthy Smile Happy Child, 2021. 
  • Bagattoni et al. “Preparing Children for Their First Dental Visit: A Guide for Parents.” Healthcare, 2022.
  • Qu et al. “Effects of early preventive dental visits and its associations with dental caries experience: a cross-sectional study.” BMC Oral Health, 2022.
  • “A Child’s First Dental Visit Fact Sheet.” Stanford Medicine Children’s Health.

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How to Prepare for Your Child's First Dental Visit

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Little girl at dentist holding a teddy bear and high fiving the dentist.

Whether your baby's first tooth popped up this week or your toddler's finally ready to sit still for the dentist, you made your child's first dental appointment. Hooray! The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends scheduling a dental visit as soon as the child's first tooth appears. Still, it's never too late to take your kid to see the dentist. After you've completed the hard work of finding a kid-friendly dentist , you might wonder how to best prepare for your child's first dental visit. Check out these three simple steps and learn what you can expect once your kid's in the dental chair.

Step 1: Schedule the Dental Appointment

Try to schedule your child's first dentist appointment when they will be the least fussy, and make sure they are well-rested and fed before you arrive. While making the appointment, you can also ask about completing health history forms in advance and if the office will need any additional information to help limit the time waiting in the office. A quick call to your dental insurance provider can also confirm your coverage and determine if there will be any additional copays.

Step 2: Prepare for the Dental Appointment

A child's first dental visit should not be a surprise. Take some time to talk to your child about what will happen at the appointment. You can also read books or watch a television show about a friendly dental visit to help them visualize what it will be like. If your child is older, you can make a pretend trip to the dentist and practice opening their mouth wide to count their teeth. For more ambitious parents, the internet provides a variety of crafts to teach your children the importance of taking care of your teeth. Parents can also prepare for a child's first visit by completing any paperwork, writing down the child's medications, and making a list of any questions.

Step 3: Make the Dental Appointment Fun

Keeping a positive attitude and talking excitedly about the dental visit will go a long way in making your child feel comfortable instead of scared. However, if you sense your child is nervous, bring along a stuffed animal friend. The "friend" — or an older sibling — can go first, and the dental professional can demonstrate what will happen next or answer any of the child's questions. If your child still has dental anxiety , there are many things you can do to make them feel safe. Many dentists will provide a reward at the end of the appointment, but you may also want to pack a treat. Stickers, a new toothbrush, or a small toy all make great rewards.

What to Expect at Your Baby's First Dental Appointment

Depending on how comfortable — or wiggly — your child is, they may sit directly in the chair or in your lap. The dentist will check their jaw, teeth, and gums for proper development, cavities, or other issues. Either the dentist or dental hygienist will clean the child's teeth and provide education on how to properly take care of your child's teeth and gums. At the end of the appointment, the dentist can answer any questions you may have — from pacifier use to the best nutrition for healthy teeth.

Setting a positive precedent for dental appointments at an early age can help children create lifelong oral hygiene habits. By following these steps and taking the time to prepare for your child's first dental visit, you can help your child enjoy the dentist and look forward to future appointments.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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Your Baby's First Dental Visit

Your baby is hitting new milestones every day, and his or her first dental visit is another one to include in the baby book!

Your child’s first dental visit should take place after that first tooth appears , but no later than the first birthday. Why so early? As soon as your baby has teeth , he or she can get cavities. Being proactive about your child’s dental health today can help keep his or her smile healthy for life. (Need a dentist? Use our Find-A-Dentist tool to find one in your area.)

How to Prepare

Moms and dads can prepare, too. When making the appointment, it can’t hurt to ask for any necessary patient forms ahead of time. It may be quicker and easier for you to fill them out at home instead of at the office on the day of your visit.

Make a list of questions, as well. If your child is teething , sucking his or her thumb  or using a pacifier  too much, your dentist can offer some advice.

What to Expect During the Visit

If your child cries a little or wiggles during the exam, don’t worry. It’s normal, and your dental team understands this is a new experience for your child!

Tips for a Great Visit

  • Don’t schedule an appointment during naptime. Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
  • Make sure your child has had a light meal and brushes their teeth before their appointment so they won’t be hungry during their visit.
  • Save snacks for after the visit so they aren’t on your child’s teeth during the exam.
  • Think of the appointment as a happy and fun experience. If your child becomes upset during the visit, work with your dentist to calm your child. You’re on the same team!

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Delayed start to dentist visits: Parents need provider prompt

Toddler at the dentist office

Visiting the dentist at an early age is an essential part of children’s health care. At early dental visits, the dentist will look for signs of decay on baby teeth and make sure parents understand how to care for their child’s teeth. The age at which children start dental visits varies. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked parents of children age 0-5 years about their beliefs and experiences about when to start dental visits.

Nearly half of parents (45%) said their child’s doctor or a dentist suggested an age to start dental visits. Parents with higher income and education, and those with private dental insurance, were more likely to report a doctor or dentist suggestion about when to start dental visits.

Among parents who said their child’s doctor or a dentist suggested an age to start dental visits, 47% believed children should have their first dentist visit when they are 1 year or younger; 47% said children should start when 2 or 3 years old. Only 6% of parents who received a doctor or dentist suggestion said children should start dentist visits at 4 years or older.

Over half of parents (55%) did not get their information about when to start dentist visits from their child’s doctor or a dentist. Instead, these parents relied on advice from family and friends (14%), their own experience starting dental care (13%) or other sources.

Among parents who were not prompted by a doctor or dentist, only 35% believed dentist visits should start at when children are 1 year or younger, while 48% said they should start at 2-3 years of age. However, 1 in 6 (17%) believed that children should delay their first dentist visit until 4 years or older.

Over half of parents (60%) reported their child has had a dental visit; for 85% of this group, the child’s age at their first visit matched the parents’ belief about when to start dental visits. Most parents (79%) felt the dentist visit was worthwhile.

Among the 40% of parents whose child has not had a dental visit, common reasons for not going to the dentist were that the child is not old enough to go to the dentist (42%), the child’s teeth are healthy (25%), and the child would be scared of the dentist (15%).

What age should kids start dentist visits?

Among parents of children age 0-5:

  • Over half of parents did not receive guidance from their child's doctor or a dentist about when to start dentist visits.
  • Professional guidance was more common among parents with higher income, education, and private dental insurance.
  • 1 in 6 parents who did not receive guidance from health care providers believed children should delay dentist visits until age 4 years or older.

Implications

Early dentist visits are a key time to educate parents on developing good oral health habits, including correct brushing techniques, the importance of limiting sugary drinks, and the need to avoid putting children to bed with a bottle. Dental visits also are important for the detection and treatment of early childhood caries (dental decay in baby teeth), and the application of fluoride varnish to the baby teeth to prevent future decay. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Dental Association (ADA) both recommend starting dental visits around age 1, when baby teeth emerge.

As shown in this Mott Poll, parental beliefs about when to start dentist visits are not always consistent with national recommendations. About half feel that waiting until 2 or 3 years of age is sufficient; some believe children can delay the start of dentist visits until 4 years or older.

The risk of delaying dentist visits is early signs of tooth decay may not be noticeable. In this poll, one quarter of parents who had delayed dental visits said their child’s teeth are healthy. However, it is unlikely that a parent could detect early tooth decay. By the time decay becomes obvious due to discoloration, the problem likely has become substantial. Prompt dental treatment at the first sign of decay can prevent more significant dental problems. Therefore, having regular dentist visits throughout early childhood increases the likelihood that decay will be identified and treated before major problems develop.

Parents’ lack of awareness of the recommended age to begin dental visits is understandable. Recommendations have changed over the years, so parents who rely on their own experience, or advice from family members, may be hearing outdated advice.

Additionally, parents get much less guidance on when their child should go to the dentist compared to the doctor. Healthcare guidance for parents of young children is often focused on a set schedule of well-child visits with medical providers. Often, the child’s first visit is scheduled before leaving the hospital, and the timing of subsequent visits is communicated clearly. In contrast, there is little discussion about dental visits; over half of parents in this poll do not recall getting information from their child’s doctor or a dentist about when to start dental care. This lack of guidance results in many parents delaying the start of dental visits past the recommended age.

This Mott Poll also shows that provider recommendations for early dental care are not received equally by all parents. Higher-income, more educated, and privately insured parents report receiving guidance from a health care provider on when to start dentist visits more frequently than parents who are low-income, less educated, and on Medicaid. This pattern is particularly problematic because low-income children have elevated rates of early childhood caries and would benefit from early dental care.

Providers who care for at-risk populations should take time to explain and emphasize the importance of dental visits. If health care providers don’t raise the topic, parents should ask their child’s doctor or their own dentist about when to start dentist visits, and how to keep their child’s teeth strong and healthy.

first dental visit age 4

Data Source & Methods

This report presents findings from a nationally representative household survey conducted exclusively by GfK Custom Research, LLC (GfK), for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The survey was administered in November 2017 to a randomly selected, stratified group of parents age 18 and older (n=2,005). Adults were selected from GfK’s web-enabled KnowledgePanel® that closely resembles the U.S. population. The sample was subsequently weighted to reflect population figures from the Census Bureau. The survey completion rate was 60% among panel members contacted to participate. This report is based on responses from 790 parents who had at least one child 0-5 years. The margin of error is ±3 to 6 percentage points.

Findings from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health do not represent the opinions of the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan reserves all rights over this material.

Clark SJ, Schultz SL, Singer DC, Gebremariam A, Freed GL. Delayed start to dentist visits: Parents need provider prompt. C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, University of Michigan. Vol 31, Issue 2, February 2018. Available at:  https://mottpoll.org/reports/delayed-start-dentist-visits-parents-need-provider-prompt .

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first dental visit age 4

As a parent, you’re always on the lookout for your child’s well-being, and their dental health is no exception. When it comes to oral care, starting early is key to ensuring a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. One of the most important steps you can take is scheduling your child’s first dental visit at the right time. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) , this should ideally happen by the age of 12 months or within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth.

Why is this initial dental visit so crucial? Let’s delve into the reasons and understand why early intervention matters when it comes to your child’s dental health.

1. Establishing a Dental Home: The concept of a “dental home” is emphasized by the AAPD. This refers to an ongoing relationship between your child and their dentist, starting from an early age. By establishing a dental home early on, you ensure that your child receives continuous, comprehensive dental care tailored to their specific needs. This not only fosters trust and familiarity but also allows for timely preventive measures and interventions if any dental issues arise.

2. Early Detection of Dental Problems: Even though your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, they play a crucial role in their oral development and overall health. Tooth decay can occur as soon as the first tooth erupts, making early dental visits essential for monitoring your child’s dental health and detecting any problems early on. From cavities to developmental issues, a pediatric dentist can identify and address potential concerns before they escalate into more significant problems.

3. Guidance on Oral Care: Parents often have questions about the best practices for taking care of their child’s teeth and gums. During the first dental visit, you’ll receive valuable guidance from the pediatric dentist on oral hygiene practices, including proper brushing and flossing techniques, fluoride supplementation, and diet tips to promote healthy teeth. This information empowers you to take an active role in your child’s oral care regimen and instill good habits from an early age.

4. Building Positive Dental Experiences: For many children, visiting the dentist can be intimidating or even frightening. However, by starting dental visits early and making them a positive experience, you help alleviate any fears or anxieties your child may have about dental care. Pediatric dentists are trained to create a friendly, welcoming environment that puts children at ease, making each visit a positive and stress-free experience. This sets the stage for a lifetime of good oral health habits and regular dental check-ups.

5. Preventive Care and Education: Prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to dental health. By taking your child to the dentist early on, you have the opportunity to proactively prevent dental problems before they occur. Through preventive treatments such as fluoride varnish application and dental sealants, as well as education on proper oral hygiene and nutrition, your child’s dentist can help safeguard their teeth against decay and other oral health issues.

The importance of your child’s first dental visit cannot be overstated. By following the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to schedule this visit by the age of 12 months or within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth, you lay the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health. From early detection and prevention of dental problems to guidance on oral care practices and building positive dental experiences, this initial visit sets the stage for your child’s lifelong dental journey. So don’t wait – schedule that first dental appointment at Cumberland Valley Pediatric Dentistry today and give them the gift of a healthy smile for years to come.

  • May 6, 2024
  • blog , Children's Dentistry

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Come join us for Tooth Fairy Time on

May 16, 2024.

When: Thursday,   May 16th, 2024

What Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Where: CVPD, 201 St Johns Church Rd, Camp Hill, PA 17011

We are thrilled to welcome the staff from Lively Hive to Tooth Fairy Time. Join us at CVPD on May 16 from 5:30-7pm to play with us!

The staff from Lively Hive will set up engaging & crowd-favorite games and activities through stations that will focus on play, sensory, and motor skills at Tooth Fairy Time. The planned games and activities are geared mostly for ages 0-6, but all ages are always welcome, and the older kids can certainly help the younger friends/family members. Reserve your spot, today!

Decisions in Dentistry

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first dental visit age 4

A Child’s First Dental Visit

An exploration of why the age 1 visit is a game changer in terms of overall oral health and childhood caries.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

After reading this course, the participant should be able to:

  • Explain the concept and value of a dental home and the Age 1 dental visit, as well as utilization rates for this model of care.
  • Describe fundamental clinical practices and challenges when caring for infants and young children.
  • Detail key issues surrounding childhood caries and the need to educate parents and caregivers of young pediatric patients.

For the better part of the last 100 years, dentistry followed the “see and treat” concept; meaning that oral health care was, for the most part, treatment oriented. Dentists did what they were trained to do, which was to treat dental caries. Most patients visited the dentist to address a specific problem (usually prompted by the occurrence of pain). Many did not consider primary teeth important, since they were looked upon as being transitional, and would soon be exfoliated and replaced by permanent teeth. In fact, in the 1950s some dental offices had signs in their waiting rooms proclaiming, “No children under age 13 treated.”

With an increase in the knowledge of the dental caries process, dentists gradually began to see children at earlier ages. Many dentists were ill equipped to communicate with and/or treat such young patients; consequently, the recommended age for the child’s first dental visit was on or after the 3rd birthday. Dentistry for patients under the age of 3 was largely approached didactically and not clinically. Prevention of dental disease for this group was a mere afterthought.

PARADIGM SHIFT

Once dental caries was understood as a chronic bacterial disease with a behavioral component, the paradigm shifted from treating the resulting damage to addressing the cause (prevention). In turn, this shift had a significant impact on determining the optimal age for the first dental visit.

Dentistry will never “drill its way out” of the early childhood caries (ECC) epidemic. For practitioners to succeed in the fight against ECC, they must improve preventive efforts and manage lesions in their earliest stages. A patient’s risk of developing dental caries starts with the introduction of oral pathogens into an infant’s mouth; therefore, first seeing the dentist at age 3 could prove too late. The age 1 visit not only allows for preventive therapies and early treatment, it also benefits the child by helping to establish optimal feeding and oral hygiene habits.

In a 1992 policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics proposed a definition of the medical home and referred to the “delivery of advanced primary care, with the goal of addressing and integrating high quality health promotion, acute care, and chronic condition management in a planned, coordinated and family centered manner.” 2 In 2001, the AAPD adopted its Policy on the Dental Home, based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ medical home concept. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate and routine preventive care and thus have a reduced risk of dental disease. 3

The recommendation for a child’s first dental visit to occur at or before age 1 has been the standard since 2001. Yet, practically speaking, dentistry for patients under the age of 3 continues to be largely spoken of didactically, and not widely implemented clinically in general practice. This is not a criticism as much as an observation. Dentists are busy addressing the functional and physical effects of dental caries and have little time to address the process. Many have not been adequately trained to understand the purpose and method of introducing the age 1 patient to clinical practice. This article will explain the rationale, benefit and technique for implementing the age 1 dental visit. The goal is to make dental practitioners comfortable and competent in meeting this standard of care.

RATIONALE FOR EARLY CARE

Dental caries is a preventable, chronic disease that is influenced by social and behavioral factors. Improving access to — and the use of — preventive and disease management strategies, along with early dental visits, will contribute to better patient outcomes, reduction of per capita health care expenses, and improved utilization of services.

According to research, annual treatment costs for children who had their first dental visit by age 1 are significantly less than for patients who wait until they are older. 4 Children seen by a dentist before age 1 are more likely to see the dentist on an ongoing basis, and less likely to require restorative or emergency visits. By comparison, those seen for the first time at age 2 and age 3 have an increased need for preventive, restorative and emergency visits over time. 5

Unfortunately, 23% of children continue to experience dental caries, with children from ages 2 to 5 experiencing increasing rates. 6 In 2015, 57% of children on Medicaid did not receive preventive oral health services. 7 Previous research showed that Medicaid patients ages 1 to 5 accounted for 45% of total dental costs, even though this age group represented only 5% of the insured population. 6 In a 2015 retrospective review of privately insured patients, only 1% had their first dental visit by age 1. 8

It is logical to ask, “If so much could be done to enhance oral health with effective preventive strategies implemented in the first year of life, why hasn’t dentistry been more effective in this regard?” This is a good question with a complex answer.

Seldom is a patient under the age of 3 cooperative in the dental office. If the dentist’s role is only restorative, there is a dilemma of how to perform complicated procedures on kicking, screaming and crying patients. In years past, many dentists were ill prepared to cope with such patients, therefore treatment was delayed until after the patients were better able to cooperate, usually after their 3rd birthday.

Only recently have the age 1 visit, the value of a dental home, and the clinical skills to complete an infant oral examination been emphasized in dental school curricula. While practicing general dentists may have been exposed to these concepts, as previously noted, many have not been trained in the delivery of care for such young patients.

In addition, dentists are trained to diagnose and restore the consequences of dental disease. Far too often, dentistry is viewed as a surgical specialty, and the schedules of many dentists are customarily filled with patients having broken-down teeth needing immediate attention. If this pattern is to be reversed, there must be a complete paradigm shift emphasizing preventive care and, when possible, nonsurgical management.

Caries risk assessment for first dental visit

THE THREE PILLARS

A proper infant oral examination visit rests upon three pillars:

  • Risk assessment
  • Oral examination
  • Anticipatory guidance

Risk Assessment: Effective infant preventive dentistry begins with an assessment of individual risk factors, as established through the medical, social and dental histories (Table 1). Preventive strategies are subsequently developed to address the patient’s specific risk. These activities occur before the patient’s oral exam and are aimed at providing the primary caregiver with adequate information to reduce the risk of dental caries.

Special attention should be given to the primary caregiver’s dental history. The infant’s oral pathogens are the result of vertical transmission from the primary caregiver. Untreated caries and high bacterial counts from periodontal conditions in the caregiver’s mouth result in the infant having a bacterial flora conducive to caries development. 9

Infant at the first dental visit

Feeding habits affect caries risk through both what is eaten, and how it is eaten. Carbohydrate-rich diets are highly cariogenic and should be limited. Feeding on demand and/or at night leads to what was formerly referred to as “baby bottle decay,” but now is now known as ECC. 10 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend infants be breastfed until age 1. 11 Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding should not be ad lib. Feeding at night increases the risk of caries formation. During sleep, the body’s systems slow and respirations and the heart rate decreases. There is also reduced salivary flow, and this diminishes the natural cleaning and buffering effect of saliva.

Oral Examination: The examination of the infant’s oral cavity takes place in a knee-to-knee fashion (Figure 1). The dentist cradles the infant’s head in his or her lap while supporting the head. The caregiver holds the infant’s hands and feet. It is normal and beneficial for the infant to cry, as this ensures the mouth is open and an adequate visual examination is possible. The dentist should communicate throughout the examination and remain complimentary of the infant and caregiver. Clinical observations should be pointed out, and the provider should demonstrate proper technique for cleaning the teeth using a gauze, toothbrush or washcloth. Finally, fluoride varnish should be applied. (Additional clinical resources are found in Table 2.)

Anticipatory Guidance: In terms of diet and feeding habits, breastfeeding should be encouraged and added carbohydrates avoided. Feeding should be on a schedule and infants should never be put to bed with a bottle. Water after feeding should also be encouraged.

The child should be introduced to toothbrushing when the first tooth erupts. A soft-bristle brush with an age-appropriate amount of fluoridated toothpaste is recommended (refer to the AAPD’s guideline on fluoride use). As noted, the dentist should demonstrate the technique to the caregiver during the knee-to-knee examination. Other sources of fluoride include drinking fluoridated water and use of fluoride varnish, which should be placed on primary teeth at each dental visit.

TOOTH ERUPTION

Resources for first dental visit

NONNUTRITIVE HABITS

Nonnutritive oral habits are common in infants. The caregiver should be assured these are normal and that most infants discontinue them in time. Persistent habits that are causing distortion of the oral cavity can be addressed when the patient is mature enough to want to quit. Until then, the dentist should monitor the habit and any resulting oral changes it is causing.

RECALL VISITS

High-risk patients should be placed on a three-month recall schedule. Fluoride varnish should be applied at these visits. Additional anticipatory guidance information should be reemphasized at each appointment. More information on the infant examination can be found in the AAPD Guideline for Infant Oral Health Care ( aapd.org/ media/ Policies_ Guidelines/ G_ InfantOralHealthCare.pdf ).

Dentists who provide care for pediatric patients are highly encouraged to adopt the age 1 visit. It is the standard of care for young patients and supported by the AAPD, American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics. While preventive measures are important for all patients, waiting to institute these measures at age 3 would be too late for patients at high risk of dental caries. The patient with ECC will require more dental care, incur more expense, and is likely to face a lifetime of caries. For dentistry to address this dilemma in any significant way requires intervention upon the eruption of the first primary tooth.

Just as pediatricians are the primary medical care providers for infants, dentists are the primary oral health care providers for this patient population. The role and responsibility of the dentist is to provide education and training to the parents/caregivers and, when appropriate, the child, too. The value of the child’s first dental visit, and subsequent routine appointments, is not merely the dental prophylaxis. It is the supervision and educational information the parent/caregiver and patient receives from the dental team that will provide a lifetime of value in terms of oral and overall health.

  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Maintaining and improving the oral health of young children. Section on oral health. Pediatrics. 2014;134:1224–1229.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Medical Home definition. Available at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/professional-resources/practice-transformation/ medicalhome/Pages/home.aspx. Accessed January 17, 2019.
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Definition of Dental Home. Available at: http://www.aapd.org/ media/policies_guidelines/d_dentalhome.pdf. Accessed January 17, 2019.
  • Dye BA, Thornton-Evans G, Li X, Iafolla TJ. Dental caries and sealant prevalence in children and adolescents in the United States, 2011–2012. NCHS Data Brief . 2015;191:1–8.
  • Nowak A, Christensen JR, Mabry TR, Townsend JA, Wells MH. Pediatric Dentistry: Infancy through Adolescence . 6th ed. Philidelphia: Saunders; 2018:137.6.
  • Lee JY, Bouwens TJ, Savage MF, Vann WF Jr. Examining the cost-effectiveness of early dental visits. Pediatr Dent . 2006;28:102–105.
  • Casamassimo PS, Hammersmith K, Gross EL, Amini H. Infant oral health: an emerging dental public health measure. Dent Clin North Am . 2018;62:235–244.
  • Kolstad C, Zavras A, Yoon RK. Cost-benefit analysis of the age one dental visit for the privately insured. Pediatr Dent . 2015;37:376–380.
  • Dye BA, Vargas CM, Lee JJ, Magder L, Tinanoff N. Assessing the relationship between children’s oral health status and that of their mothers. J Am Dent Assoc . 2011;142:173–183.
  • Kierce EA, Rainchuso L. Comprehensive approach to early childhood caries. Decisions in Dentistry. 2017;3(12):34–36,39.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics Policy on Breastfeeding. Available at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/ Breastfeeding/Pages/AAP-Policy-on-Breastfeeding.aspx. Accessed   January 17, 2019.

Featured image by ONDROOO/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

From Decisions in Dentistry.  February 2019;5(2):30—32,35.

first dental visit age 4

Orpheus L. Triplett, DDS, is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry, where he serves as director of Community Relations and Outreach. Triplett has more than 20 years experience in private practice and has also served as dental director for Christ Community Health Services, a multisite federally qualified health center in Memphis.

first dental visit age 4

Larry Dormois, DDS, MS, is chair of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry in Memphis. Board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, he is also a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American College of Dentists. Dormois serves as an examiner for the American Board of Dentistry and is a site visitor for the Council on Dental Accreditation with the American Dental Association. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Brushing is should start as soon as teeth appear, which can be as early as 4 months. Babies usually get bottom teeth first, then top ones. Don’t get too worked up about when baby teeth come in.

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Your Child's First Visit

First Tooth First Visit

The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his or her teeth. In most cases, a dental exam every six months will let your child's dentist catch small problems early.

Here are 3 reasons to take your child for dental exams:

  • You can find out if the cleaning you do at home is working.
  • Your dentist can find problems right away and fix them.
  • Your child can learn that going to the dentist helps prevent problems.

Your dentist may want to take X-rays. X-rays show decay between the teeth. They will also show if teeth are coming in the way they should. Your child's dentist may also talk to you about fluoride.

Once your child has permanent molars, your dentist may suggest sealing them to protect them from cavities. A sealant is a kind of plastic that is put on the chewing surface of the molars. The plastic seals the tooth and makes it less likely to trap food and germs.

When your child goes for a dental exam, your dentist can tell you if crooked or crowded teeth may cause problems. In many cases, crooked teeth straighten out as the child's jaw grows and the rest of the teeth come in.

If they do not straighten out, your child may have a bite problem (also known as malocclusion). This can cause problems with eating and with teeth cleaning. It can also affect your child's looks and make him or her feel out of place.

Your dentist can suggest ways to treat this, or refer your child to an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dental specialist with 2 to 3 years of extra university training in this area.

The dentist says my child needs a filling in a baby tooth. Since the tooth is going to fall out, why bother?

Some primary (or baby) teeth will be in your child's mouth until age 12. The tooth that needs to be fixed may be one of those.

Broken teeth or teeth that are infected can hurt your child's health and the way your child feels about him or herself.

To do a filling, the dentist removes the decay and "fills" the hole with metal, plastic or other material. A filling can be a cheap and easy way to fix a problem that could be painful and cost more later because it stops decay from spreading deeper into the tooth.

If a filling is not done and decay spreads, the tooth may need to be pulled out. If this happens, your child may need a space maintainer to hold space for the permanent tooth.

When a baby (or primary) tooth is missing, the teeth on each side may move into the space. They can block the permanent tooth from coming in. To hold the space, your dentist may put a plastic or metal space maintainer on the teeth on each side of the space, to keep the teeth from moving in.

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first dental visit age 4

What To Expect If My Child’s First Dental Visit Is At Age 4?

girl patient high-five

  • 1.0.1 Preparing Your Child
  • 1.0.2 Preparing Yourself
  • 1.0.3 Preparing the Dentist
  • 2 First Dental Visit Procedures

Typically, a child must have his or her first dental visit in the first six months since the first tooth came in or in their first year. This is to ensure that the growth and development of their baby teeth are not being compromised. If your child’s first dental visit is at age 4, expect certain procedures like an X-ray and full inspection of the teeth. Health on 21’s medical center located in Palm Beach highly suggests a regular visit to a pediatric dentist to ensure that your child is not at risk of periodontal diseases.

What To Expect On Your First Dental Visit

It’s important to prepare yourself and your child for their first dental visit. Kids are commonly anxious about dental treatments which often makes it hard for the pediatric dentist to do his job well.

Depending on the age and dental condition of your child, the dentist might give you some valuable information about the following.

  • Tooth decay due to feeding bottles
  • Proper home oral care for infants
  • Mouth cleaning
  • What to do if they are teething
  • Risks of pacifier

mother supporting son on dental check up

The first dental visit is very important. It is recommended on the first 12 months of the child or if the first baby teeth become visible. Regular check-ups are done after every six months just like with the adults. The first few years are crucial as these are the stages where your child will build confidence and trust with their dentist. So make sure to always follow your scheduled appointments.

Preparing Your Child

As a parent, it could be quite challenging to convince your child to visit a dentist. Most of the time, it happens when the child is about 4 years of age. This is the reason why dentists recommend the first dental visit during their first year, so they can closely monitor their dental health and start building a good relationship with the child as early as possible.

Check out these tips below that might be helpful in preparing your child for their first dental visit:

  • Choose an appointment time where they are most attentive and joyful. In most cases, younger children are more attentive and energetic in the mornings, while others are more joyful in the early afternoon.
  • Bring their comfort toy. Whether it’s a stuffed animal or a doll, make sure to carry something that can help them calm down when things go wrong. Let them hold on to the toy during the whole dental process to keep them relaxed.
  • Explain things to them. It’s better if the child is well prepared for their first dental visit. Toddlers or kids from 4 years old can already understand simple explanations.

Preparing Yourself

If your child is experiencing dental problems at home, listen to them carefully and list down their concerns. They will not be able to share their frustrations with the dentist most especially if they are not yet comfortable with them.

You can prepare yourself by discussing your child’s concerns with their pediatric dentist , This way, you will be able to explain to your child later on the things that he needs to do to make sure that his oral health is well taken care of.

Preparing the Dentist

Fill in the dentist about your child’s behavior when they are feeling something in particular. For example, your child is not very fond of talking when he is scared and frightened, but it can be managed when he hears his favorite song. Let the dentist know what he could do to make it easy for him to communicate with your child.

The child’s reaction definitely varies on their age. To fully understand this, let us discuss their common reactions by age and the things that you can do to manage them:

  • 9th to 12th month. Babies this age are typically attached to familiar people only. They could get upset when a strange individual takes them away from their parents. If they need to be taken away for an exam, calm them down by ensuring that they can at least hear your voice.
  • 2nd and 3rd year. Children at this stage are more attached to their parents. They typically have mild separation anxiety and you might need to be a little bit more patient with them especially if it’s their first dental visit. Your child will be more at peace if they can see you around. Or much better, sit right next to them.
  • 4 years above. At this point, your child must have had their first dental visit already, but if not, it would be important to guarantee them that everything is going to be okay. Stay by their side during the whole dental visit and be supportive until they feel comfortable with their dentist.

First Dental Visit Procedures

friendly pediatric dentist

Your child’s dentist will do the following procedures to come up with accurate results and possible solutions if dental problems are about to emerge:

  • Check all the teeth. This is done in order to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
  • Examine the child’s bite. Overbite and underbite are easier to fix while the patient is still young. This will give the dentist enough time to correct the bite as early as possible.
  • Look for the possible occurrence of issues in the jaw, gum, and teeth.
  • Send your child for an X-ray examination, which is usually recommended for children between 5 to 6 years old.
  • If needed, he might perform a professional dental cleaning.
  • Explain proper oral care to your child in a friendly manner.

After the procedure, the dentist will discuss the result of his examination and answer the parents’ questions and concerns.

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems of children. When the growth and development of their teeth are compromised at an early age, they could suffer serious consequences as they grow up. Be sure to bring them to the dentist regularly for a thorough check-up.

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  • v.15(4); Jul-Aug 2022

First Dental Visit: Age Reasons Oral Health Status and Dental Treatment Needs among Children Aged 1 Month to 14 Years

Neha padung.

1-3 Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, School of Dental Sciences, Sharda University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

Sukhdeep Singh

Neha awasthi.

The aim of this study was to see the age and also the reasons for the child's first dental visit and to assess the oral health status and treatment desires.

Materials and methods

The study involved 133 children aged between 1 month and 14 years, who reported to the department of pediatric and preventive dentistry. All parents/legal guardians of the study participants gave written consent for participation in the study. Information on the child's age and reason for the dental visit were collected from a questionnaire given to parents. The children's dental condition was assessed by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (dmft) and DMFT values.

Statistical analysis used

Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 and categorical data were compared by using Chi-square test. The level of significance was set at 0.05.

Age of the child for first dental visit was male: 85.7% at 9 years and female: 75.00% at 4 years. Majority of children who visited the dentist were age 7 years. The most common chief complaint about the primary visit was caries, and the second was tooth pain.

Children report for the primary dental visit most commonly solely after 7 years and for complaints like caries and tooth pain. Children make their first dental visit too late (usually at the age of 7 years) in reference to medical recommendations (between 6 and 12 months of life). More of restoration was the treatment of need by 47.00%. The results of this study indicate unhealthy oral health creating their first dental visit and low health awareness of parents and guardians.

How to cite this article

Padung N. First Dental Visit: Age Reasons Oral Health Status and Dental Treatment Needs among Children Aged 1 Month to 14 Years. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2022;15(4):394-397.

I ntroduction

Dental caries is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children in developing countries. Early childhood caries, or tooth decay in children younger than 6 years, is the most common chronic disease among children. 1 - 3 Early childhood caries prevalence increases and leads to psychosocial, functional, and growing problems among children. Early childhood tooth decay is preventable and largely reversible in its early stages through self-care, use of professional services, and exposure to community interventions such as water fluoridation. During dental visits, children can receive an assessment for disease risk, early detection and treatment services, preventive care such as fluoride therapy, and anticipatory guidance. To ensure exposure to prevention early in life, professional organizations recommend that children have a dental home by 12 months of age. 4 One of the reasons for unsatisfactory dental health among the youngest population is the delay in the first visit of the child to the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that the child's first visit to the dentist should take place within 6 months of eruption of the first primary tooth and no later than at the age of 12 months (AAPD, 2014; ADA, 2000), 5 , 6 while other sources suggest 12–18 months as the optimal time for the first visit (Adamowicz-Klepalska, 2009; Marcinkowska et al., 2013). 7 , 8 Argentine researchers Furze and Basso indicate that the first dental visit of a preventive character should take place in the fourth month of intrauterine life. During this visit, the expectant mother receives information about caries, its infectivity, is instructed that the mother is the main source of transmittable Streptococcus mutans , and is advised on how to provide oral care to the child and possible preventive procedures. The aim of this visit is to stimulate the interest of the pregnant woman in her own health but also in the health of her unborn child (Furze and Basso). 9 The information offered to parents at the first visit could inspire greater interest in the child's dental health and could accordingly mitigate the course of caries. The child's first dental visit has a significant impact on shaping a positive attitude and tolerance towards further treatments and helps to develop trust in the dentist. Thus, exposing children to the dental setting at a very early age can diminish their dental anxiety, whereas early dental education may improve the parent's self-efficacy in managing the oral health of their children. 10 The ADA recognizes the patient's chief complaint as an essential component for the delivery of competent and quality oral health care. It serves as a source of information for both the care provider and the patient. Hence, the main aim of this study was to know the average age at which parents first seek dental care for their children and also to find out the common reasons for seeking dental care at the first visit to the School of Dental Sciences, Sharda University, Uttar Pradesh, India. 11

M aterials and M ethods

The research protocol obtained approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee, Ref. No. SU/SMS&R/76-A/2019/142 on 18 th October 2019. The study group consisted of 133 children who had their first dental visit. All subjects were patients and parents reporting to the outpatient department in the department of pediatrics and preventive dentistry. Sample selection of children in the age group of 1 month to 14 years, reporting to the department of pediatrics and preventive dentistry. Informed consent was obtained from parents. Data on the child's age and reason for the dental visit were collected by interviewing the parents; a clinical pro forma was designed to record data. The state of oral health and dental treatment needs were assessed based on clinical examination using mouth mirror and a dental probe. The reasons for their visit were divided into the following five categories:

  • Prophylactic examination,
  • Tooth pain,
  • Tooth decay,
  • Injury to tooth and associated structures,

Data were analyzed using SPSS version 21. Categorical data were compared by using Chi-square test. Continuous data were tested for normality by using Shapiro–Wilk test. Parametric tests of significance (independent t -test and one-way analysis of variance) were used for inferential statistics. Else, the nonparametric tests (Kruskal–Wallis test and Mann–Whitney U test) were used. The level of significance was set at 0.05.

A total of 134 children visited the department of pediatric and preventive dentistry for the first time between November 2019 and January 2020. Records of 133 children were utilized, of which 77 were male (mean 8.32 ± 3.147) and 56 were female (mean 8.02 ± 3.446) p -value shows 0.595, NS ( Table 1 ).

Mean age association between sex

Table 2 shows the mean DMF(T) among males (0.41 ± 1.122) was high as compared to females (0.41 ± 1.385) p -value shows 0.998 NS, the decayed, missing, filled surface [DMF(S)] among males (0.72 ± 1.933) was high as compared to females (0.77 ± 2.565) p -value shows 0.898 NS, DMF(T) among males (mean 2.37 ± 3.080) was high as compared to females (mean 2.13 ± 3.015) p -value 0.645 NS, DMF(S) among males (mean 5.06 ± 6.493) was high as compared to females (mean 4.20 ± 6.493) p -value 0.477 NS.

Oral health status

Majority of children who visited the dentist were of age 7 years ( Fig. 1 ). Most common chief complaint for their visit was tooth decay (male 43.60% and female 33.90%) ( Fig. 2 ). The predominant reason for the child's first dental visit was caries, the need for treatment was restoration with 47.00%, followed by pulp therapy 29.90% and extraction 21.60% ( Fig. 3 ). The youngest patient who required treatment due to caries-related complications was a boy aged 2 years, visiting the dentist due to toothache.

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Object name is ijcpd-15-394-g001.jpg

Mean age at first dental visit

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ijcpd-15-394-g002.jpg

Reason for the first dental visit

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Object name is ijcpd-15-394-g003.jpg

Prevalence of need for various treatments

D iscussion

The child oral health care ought to be seen because the foundation on which a lifetime of preventive education and dental care are often built so as to help assure the best oral health into childhood. Oral examination, anticipatory guidance together with preventive education, and acceptable therapeutic intervention for the child will enhance the chance for a lifetime of freedom from preventable oral unwellness, emphasized in education regarding the importance of oral health for general health and adequate dietary and healthful habits, moreover as basic info concerning dental caries, so as to encourage the parents to stick to a program. 12 The longer a child's initial dental visit is delayed, more the chances he or she is to develop serious dental issues that might doubtless deteriorate rapidly in the absence of correct care and treatment. Unobserved and untreated dental caries will result in infection and moderate to severe pain, which may actively prevent children from eating, sleeping, and enjoying daily activities, additionally ultimately resulting in high-priced dental treatment and, in some cases, early loss of teeth. These consequences might have an effect on children's overall health and development. Given these problems, the investigation of early dental visitation is warranted. 13

Most of the kids within the current study visited dental clinics for the primary time at the age of 7 years. These results were not in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and AAPD tips. The mean age of kids visiting the dental workplace was more than the age suggested by the AAP, and therefore the AAPD, and this influences the dearth of information of parents about the age of the primary dental visit. The foremost common reasons for the primary dental visit were the presence of decayed teeth and dental pain perception. Only 2.60% of males and 4.40% females of children had visited the dentist for dental check-ups. Asymptomatic dental clinic attendance was not common in this report. This could provide evidence that parents are neither aware nor conscious of oral health prevention for their children. Very similar findings were presented by Wilk-Sieczak et al., who reported that 63% of children made their first dental visit due to the need for treatment (tooth decay and pain). 14 Daou et al. reported the reason for the first consultation; the most common was the presence of decayed teeth (50.9%) and dental pain perception (29.5%). 4 Yahya et al., Soxman, and Masiga in their respective studies suggested that the most common reason for the child's first dental visit was dental caries and its related complications. 15 - 17 Some study shows different reasons; Olatosi et al. reported the most common reason for visiting the dental clinic was dental pain (33.1%). 10 Ramakrishnan and Dharsini, in this retrospective study, the maximum number of children who reported their first dental visit was between 13 and 17 years (46%). The most common chief complaint for the visit was pain (47%) and the second common complaint was malocclusion (20%). 11

Results from the present study and other previous studies clearly suggest that universally, there are still no established practices for parents/caregivers to take their infants to visit the dentist at the recommended age. 12 Indian researchers reported an older age range for the child's first dental visit: Nino et al. indicated that children visit the dentist for the first time at age 7, 18 while a retrospective study by Meera et al. found that 59% of children have their first visit at the age of 6–12 years, and only 8.52% by the age of 3 years. 19 Studies carried out in Bulgaria by Mileva and Kondeva revealed that the greatest number of children making their first dental visit was 3–6 years old (51.9%), and the smallest number were those younger than 1 year (1.73%). 20

Ghimire et al. reported that in Nepal, most children making their first dental visit were 7–11 years old (52.7%), and only 7% were younger than 3 years. 21 Studies by Murshid found that in Saudi Arabia, most children visit the dentist at the age of 3–5 years (52.9%) and less often at the age under 3 years (32.2%). 22

In order to enhance oral health among children, it is essential that oral health-related education and education for motivating the parents of young children are provided throughout each dental visit. This additionally concerns pregnant women, who have been found to be a lot willing to follow all kinds of counsel throughout this period. 23 Cooperation in early childhood dental caries interference is additionally expected of non-dental medical employees (including pediatricians, general practitioners, and nurses). They should encourage their patients to schedule the primary dental visit for the child within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth, and also make sure visits take place regularly. 24

Limitation of this study is that few children were included (smaller sample size). It is counseled that in children below the age of 6 years, brushing with fluoridated dentifrice should be supervised so as to stop general systemic. Regarding the preventive program, most of the children need pit and fissure sealant application. However, the practicability of pit and fissure sealants in the Indian state of affairs is questionable. However, on a priority basis for selected clusters of school children, pit and fissure sealant application can be taken as preventive measures. An honest protocol for dental and oral care should be necessary, and skilled dental follow-up should be integrated into the medical follow-up.

C onclusion

Within the limitations of the study, children report for the first dental visit most commonly only after 7 years, and for complaints such as tooth decay and tooth pain. Children make their first dental visit too late in relation to medical recommendations (between 6 and 12 months of life). Parents sought dental care for their children, mainly for curative reasons, and the most predominant reason for the first dental visit was dental caries. The results of this study indicate that bad oral health, making their first dental visit too late, and low health awareness of parents and guardians.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None

R eferences

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First Dental Visit at Age 4: A Bridge to Brighter Smiles

Your child's fourth birthday marks a significant milestone – not just for them, but also for their dental health! At this age, their first visit to a dentist ideally transitions from introductory to more comprehensive. This guide explores the importance of first dental visit at age 4, how to prepare your child, and what to expect during the appointment.

Read also: First Dental Visit at Age 2: A Joyful Journey Begins

Read also: First Dental Visit at Age 3: Growing Up with a Smile

First Dental Visit at Age 4

A Bridge to Brighter Smiles: Your Child's First Dental Visit at Age 4

Why is a first dental visit at age 4 important.

By age 4, your child's oral health development progresses considerably. This visit becomes a crucial bridge between establishing healthy habits and potentially transitioning towards more advanced dental care as needed. Here's why attending at this age is essential:

Comprehensive Examination: The dentist can conduct a thorough examination of your child's teeth, gums, bite, and jaw development. This allows for early detection of any potential concerns like cavities, misalignment, or developmental issues.

Advanced Cleaning: Depending on your child's oral hygiene habits and the dentist's assessment, a more thorough cleaning might be necessary to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup.

X-rays (Optional): In some cases, the dentist might recommend X-rays to get a clearer picture of developing permanent teeth or check for any underlying issues.

Habit Correction: This is an optimal age to address persistent sucking habits like thumb-sucking or pacifier use which may affect tooth alignment. The dentist can offer guidance and strategies for gentle weaning.

Reinforcing Good Habits: The dentist will build upon the brushing and flossing routines established during previous visits, potentially introducing age-appropriate flossing techniques for your child to practice.

Preparing Your Little Explorer at Age 4:

Four-year-olds are curious and imaginative. Here's how to prepare them for a potentially more in-depth dental experience:

Interactive Storytelling: Use age-appropriate books or stories depicting a positive dental visit experience. Discuss the importance of keeping teeth healthy and strong.

Roleplay with Advanced Techniques: Continue roleplaying dental visits at home, introducing elements like cleaning and flossing (using a plush toy as a patient). Encourage your child to participate as the dentist, demonstrating proper techniques.

Answer Their Questions: As their curiosity grows, answer your child's questions honestly and in a reassuring way. Explain the tools and procedures the dentist might use during the visit.

Show Videos or Pictures: Look for child-friendly educational videos online or picture books that showcase a dental visit in a positive and engaging manner.

What to Expect at the Dentist's Office for a 4-Year-Old:

The environment at a pediatric dental office is designed to be fun and engaging, putting your child at ease. Here's a breakdown of what to expect during the visit:

Warm Welcome and Introduction: The dental team will greet you and your child warmly, creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere.

Comprehensive Examination: The dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your child's teeth, gums, bite, and jaw development. They might use specialized tools designed for little mouths.

X-rays (Optional): If necessary, the dentist will explain the need for X-rays and take them using child-safe techniques that minimize radiation exposure.

Cleaning and Potential Fluoride Treatment : The dentist will likely perform a more thorough cleaning, potentially using specialized tools like a polishing brush to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Fluoride treatment might also be applied to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities.

Habit Correction Discussion: The dentist will discuss any sucking habits your child might have and offer age-appropriate strategies for gentle weaning, focusing on positive reinforcement techniques.

Interactive Education: The dentist will use engaging language and visuals to explain the importance of brushing and flossing. They might demonstrate proper techniques using models or teach your child fun flossing songs.

Addressing Concerns: This is an excellent opportunity to discuss any concerns you have about your child's oral health, such as sensitivity, potential teeth grinding, or dietary habits.

Four-year-olds might still have anxieties about new experiences. The dentist will be patient and understanding, using gentle techniques and positive reinforcement to ensure a positive experience.

Building a Foundation for Long-Term Oral Health:

Following a successful dental visit at age 4, you can empower your child to take ownership of their oral health:

Supervised Brushing and Flossing: Continue supervising your child's brushing and flossing routines, allowing them to gain more independence while you ensure proper technique. Gradually transition towards them taking more responsibility over time.

Positive Reinforcement: Continue praising your child's efforts and celebrating their progress with encouraging words, stickers, or a small reward system.

Dietary Considerations: Maintain healthy dietary habits, limiting sugary drinks and snacks. Encourage water consumption and offer nutritious alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and low-sugar yogurt.

Regular Dental Checkups: Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings, typically every 6 months. This allows for ongoing monitoring and early intervention if needed.

Building a Team:

Dentist: Your child's dentist is a crucial partner in their oral health journey. Discuss any concerns you have and follow their recommendations for continued good oral health. This might include discussions about future orthodontic needs (braces) if any bite alignment issues are identified.

Pediatrician: Your pediatrician can continue to provide guidance on oral hygiene habits and address any teething-related concerns you might have.

By incorporating these tips and working collaboratively with your child's dental team, you can ensure a healthy, confident smile for your growing four-year-old. Remember, fostering their curiosity about oral health, celebrating their progress, and emphasizing the importance of good habits pave the way for a lifetime of healthy teeth!

Bonus Tip: Consider having your child accompany you to one of your own dental cleanings. Observing a familiar adult going through a positive dental experience can further reduce their anxiety about their own visit.

People Also Ask

What should I bring to my child's first dental visit at age 4?

Bring your child's insurance information and any medical history forms you need to complete.

Pack a comfort item like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.

Consider bringing a water bottle and a small snack for after the appointment.

What if my child is scared of the dentist?

Talk to your child about the dentist in a positive light beforehand.

Read books or watch videos that depict a positive dental visit experience.

Roleplay a dental visit at home to familiarize your child with the process.

Let the dentist know about your child's anxieties. They are experienced in working with young children and will use gentle techniques and positive reinforcement.

What happens if my child has cavities at their first dental visit at age 4?

The dentist will discuss treatment options with you, which might involve fillings or other procedures.

Early detection and treatment of cavities is crucial to prevent further complications.

The dentist will explain the procedure to your child in a reassuring way and use appropriate techniques to minimize discomfort.

How often should my child see the dentist after their first visit at age 4?

Typically, children should see the dentist for checkups and cleanings every 6 months.

The dentist will advise you on an appropriate schedule based on your child's individual needs.

Is it normal for my child to lose a baby tooth before their first dental visit at age 4?

Yes, it is perfectly normal for children to lose their baby teeth before the age of 4.

The dentist can assess your child's teeth and jaw development to ensure everything is progressing normally.

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First Dental Visit: Age Reasons Oral Health Status and Dental Treatment Needs among Children Aged 1 Month to 14 Years

Affiliation.

  • 1 Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, School of Dental Sciences, Sharda University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • PMID: 36875978
  • PMCID: PMC9983582
  • DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-2406

Aim: The aim of this study was to see the age and also the reasons for the child's first dental visit and to assess the oral health status and treatment desires.

Materials and methods: The study involved 133 children aged between 1 month and 14 years, who reported to the department of pediatric and preventive dentistry. All parents/legal guardians of the study participants gave written consent for participation in the study. Information on the child's age and reason for the dental visit were collected from a questionnaire given to parents. The children's dental condition was assessed by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (dmft) and DMFT values.

Statistical analysis used: Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 and categorical data were compared by using Chi-square test. The level of significance was set at 0.05.

Result: Age of the child for first dental visit was male: 85.7% at 9 years and female: 75.00% at 4 years. Majority of children who visited the dentist were age 7 years. The most common chief complaint about the primary visit was caries, and the second was tooth pain.

Conclusion: Children report for the primary dental visit most commonly solely after 7 years and for complaints like caries and tooth pain. Children make their first dental visit too late (usually at the age of 7 years) in reference to medical recommendations (between 6 and 12 months of life). More of restoration was the treatment of need by 47.00%. The results of this study indicate unhealthy oral health creating their first dental visit and low health awareness of parents and guardians.

How to cite this article: Padung N. First Dental Visit: Age Reasons Oral Health Status and Dental Treatment Needs among Children Aged 1 Month to 14 Years. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2022;15(4):394-397.

Keywords: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; Early childhood caries; First dental visit; Oral health.

Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).

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Tonight Biden and Trump will have their first debate of 2024. Here’s what you need to know

Elena Moore, photographed for NPR, 11 March 2020, in Washington DC.

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Biden and Trump will debate on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know

Left: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at an event marking the 12th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the East Room at the White House on June 18, 2024 in Washington, DC. Right: Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at 180 Church, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Detroit.

President Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off Thursday night in Atlanta. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images; Carlos Osorio/AP hide caption

President Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off in the first presidential debate of the 2024 general election tonight in Atlanta .

It begins a new phase of the presidential race, less than five months out from Nov. 5, Election Day, as the matchup remains extremely tight. Biden and Trump stand virtually tied, according to the latest NPR/PBS News/Marist poll , which echoes a months-long trend of recent national surveys.

The debate also breaks with campaign tradition, occurring months earlier than usual and with a new set of rules both candidates have agreed to, including no live audience. It’s also the first debate either candidate has participated in this campaign season. Biden largely ran unopposed, and Trump notably skipped the GOP primary debates.

Former President Donald Trump and now-President Biden, as seen on television during the Oct. 22, 2020 presidential debate. Their first debate this year airs on Thursday on CNN.

How Biden is getting ready for his high-stakes debate with Trump

Here’s what you need to know about this first debate.

When and how to watch

The event starts at 9 p.m. ET and will run for 90 minutes. It will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash and take place at the network’s studios in Atlanta.

The debate will be available on CNN and the streaming platform Max, formerly known as HBO. Viewers without a cable login can watch on CNN’s website .

NPR will be providing live on-air special coverage of the CNN Presidential Debate Simulcast. Plus, you can follow NPR’s live blog for updates and analysis during the debate.

Who will be there?

Biden and Trump are the only presidential candidates who qualified for the debate stage.

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. failed to meet the threshold , which required candidates to poll at 15% or higher in four national surveys and appear on enough state ballots that could theoretically push them past the needed 270 Electoral College votes to secure the presidency.

How is this debate different from those in the past?

Typically, presidential debates occur in front of a live audience, often in an event space on a college or university campus, and are coordinated by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

At the presidential debate on Sept. 29, 2020, in Cleveland, then-President Donald Trump stands on the left side of the stage, and then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden stands on the right side. Debate moderator Chris Wallace, then with Fox News, is seated in front of the stage, facing the two candidates.

As Trump takes to the debate stage Thursday, his signature style may be muted

But not this year. Both candidates have said they will not participate in the CPD’s previously scheduled and announced debates, lobbying for earlier matchups .

Instead, Biden and Trump will take part in tonight’s debate on CNN and then a second in September hosted by ABC News.

Biden and Trump have agreed to the following rules :

  • Microphones will be muted unless a candidate is directed to speak.
  • Candidates are not allowed to bring prewritten notes or props. They will receive a pen and paper, as well as a bottle of water.
  • A coin toss determined podium positions and the order of closing statements. According to CNN, Biden’s campaign won the coin toss and chose the podium to the viewers' right. As a result, the Trump team chose to deliver the final closing statement of the evening.

What to watch for

Candidates will likely speak to recent respective legal dramas. The debate comes about a month after Trump was found guilty of 34 criminal charges in New York, becoming the first U.S. president in history to be convicted of felony crimes. Biden’s son, Hunter, who is not running for office, was convicted on felony gun charges in Delaware in mid-June and faces a second federal trial in September over failing to pay his taxes.

Biden will also likely address concerns over his age and ability to serve a second term. At 81, he is the oldest sitting president in U.S. history, and if elected for a second term, he would exit office at 86.

While the president has had public slipups throughout his first term, Trump, who is 78, has repeatedly criticized Biden’s mental ability , most recently speculating he should take a cognitive test. In that same speech, Trump incorrectly named the doctor who conducted his own cognitive exam while president.

On the issues, it’s expected the candidates will discuss the state of the economy and immigration policy, as both are consistently top issues for voters in national polling. It’s also possible the candidates will weigh in on international politics, given voters remain divided on whether the U.S. should be sending military aid to Ukraine and Israel in their respective wars.

The debate may also be an opportunity for Biden to address his decreasing support, when compared to 2020, among key parts of his base, notably Blacks and Latinos and young voters .

Trump is losing some ground among older voters, and the Biden campaign is trying to capitalize on that . Plus, the former president may still need to repair relations with Nikki Haley supporters who remain uncertain about backing him again.

What's next?

Trump will likely announce his pick for vice president in the coming weeks. There will also be a vice presidential debate this summer. The date has not been finalized, but Vice President Harris agreed to one held on either July 23 or Aug. 13.

On the legal front, Trump will appear for sentencing in his criminal trial on July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention, which begins on July 15 in Milwaukee. A month later, the Democratic National Convention will kick off on Aug. 19 in Chicago.

Trump and Biden will debate for a second time on Sept. 10.

  • presidential debate
  • 2024 elections
  • Donald Trump
  • Kamala Harris

IMAGES

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  3. Child's First Dental Visit: When To Begin Dental Care

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  5. What's the Right Age for a Child's First Dentist Visit?

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  6. What to Know About your Child’s First Dental Visit

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VIDEO

  1. First Dental Visit

  2. What to expect at your child's 1st dental visit

  3. Child's first dental visit with UCSF Pediatric Dentist--Dr. Ray Stewart

  4. What happens during child's first dental visit

  5. First Dentist Visit for Kids

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  2. A Child's First Dental Visit Fact Sheet

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    Here's what you need to know about this first debate. When and how to watch. The event starts at 9 p.m. ET and will run for 90 minutes. It will be moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper and Dana Bash ...

  28. Biden and Trump presidential election debate 2024: Fact check and

    President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump faced off in the first debate of the 2024 election cycle. It was the first time they'd met since the 2020 campaign.