MONTVILLE, NJ - The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend that children have their very first dental visit when their first tooth erupts and no later than 12 months of age. The AAPD recommends that children be seen by a Pediatric Dentist. Pediatric Dentists spend an extra two years after graduating dental school, training and specializing in treating any age child (from infancy through young adult) and those with special needs.
Pediatric dental visits at a young age are imperative in helping your child associate a dental visit with a positive and rewarding experience. Early dental visits are also just the beginning of an effective, lifelong program to prevent decay and cavities. Anticipatory guidance and specific oral hygiene instructions are given at this time as well. Timely detection of cavities and other oral conditions are paramount to a child’s overall well-being and positive attitude towards the dental experience, while delaying treatment can lead to increased treatment and more costly care. An early diagnosis and treatment of a malocclusion can on occasion prevent comprehensive orthodontic treatment or surgery. It is for these reasons, the importance of early and frequent dental visits are stressed along with the formation of the “dental home.”
According to the AAPD, “The dental home is the ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family oriented way. The dental home should be established no later than 12 months of age and includes referral to dental specialists when appropriate.”
Here at Montville Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to ensure that your child's visit to our office is positive and memorable. Here are a few suggestions that we find helpful when preparing your young child for their first dental visit: Present the visit as a fun and exciting experience. Tell him or her that we will "count", "brush" "shine" and take "pictures" of their teeth. Utilizing these terms will help your child better understand the purpose of the visit. We recommend that parents avoid negative phrases that may cause anxiety to your child such as "drill", "shots", “pain”, “hurts”, etc.
Before any treatment begins, we will review any questions or concerns that you may have, then show and explain to your child what we are going to do. We will show him or her all of our "tools" and encourage your child to touch them. This familiarizes your child with our tools, to make them feel more comfortable before putting anything into their mouth. This first visit consists of a complete dental exam and cleaning, which includes checking for cavities and checking their bite for correct alignment of the teeth and jaws. Radiographs may be taken as well.
For more information, visit either Montville Pediatric Dentistry's website at montvillepediatricdentistry.com or aapd.org. We look forward to helping make your child’s first dental visit a “magical” experience.