1st Reading - First Trip to the Dentist
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2nd Reading - First Trip to the Dentist
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3rd Reading - First Trip to the Dentist
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First Trip to the Dentist

Many parents do not realize that they should take their children for a first dental visit at a very young age. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s initial visit to the dentist should be around the age of twelve months. Although this seems young, it is never too early to start good oral health.

When selecting a dentist for children, parents will want to choose one that has experience with kids. Parents will often choose their own dentist as their child’s dentist. This is acceptable, but parents should make sure that their dentist has experience working with children as well as adults. Sometimes it is helpful for parents to take their child with them on a routine dentist visit, so the child can see what it is like. This can help decrease any anxiety that the child may have. There are also many pediatric dentists that specialize in treating only children. This is a good option because often their offices are designed just for kids.

The first trip to the dentist for a child will likely be exploratory in nature. The hygienist will allow the child to ride in the fancy dentist chair, look at the different dental tools, and answer any questions. The primary purpose of the first visit is to get the child comfortable and prepared for his or her next visit. During the first visit, the dentist will typically do an exam to determine if the child is at risk for any dental problems and will often count aloud the child’s number of teeth to keep the visit fun. Depending on the child’s age, and if there are any concerns, the dentist will make a recommendation as to when to return. Visiting the dentist every six months is usually what is expected.

At the second visit to the dentist, he or she will most likely have his or her teeth cleaned. The cleaning is completed by the dental hygienist. The hygienist will also floss the teeth after the cleaning. Another part of the visit will include a fluoride treatment. For young children, the fluoride is usually applied by brushing it onto the teeth with a toothbrush. The dentist examines the child’s teeth after they are cleaned.  Frequently, the dentist will have x-rays of the mouth taken in order to check for cavities and to ensure that all permanent teeth are in place. If a cavity is detected, the child will need to make a return visit in order to have it filled.

The concluding and best part of a dentist visit is the prize at the end. The majority of dentists have a treasure box or stickers. Youngsters can choose their prize. Dentists also supply toothbrushes and sometimes even toothpaste and floss for each patient. It is imperative for a dentist visit to be a pleasant experience for children.

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Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners

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