A Child's First Dental Check-up

As your child begins to develop their first teeth, you're probably have started to wonder what the normal protocol is in regards to having them visit the dentist for the first time. Our goal at Hines Little Smiles is to help you and your child develop healthy oral health habits early in life.  The entire Hines Little Smiles team is happy to help you answer these questions and more. Being pediatric dental specialists in Columbus, OH, Dr. Hines, and the rest of her team have the experience and knowledge to help your child's developing teeth grow in correctly and give them a dental home they look forward to visiting each time!

When Should You Bring Your Child Into Our Office For The First Time?

As a general rule of thumb, you should take your child in for their first visit on their first birthday or six months after their first tooth appears.

If your child was born with a natal tooth, you should schedule an appointment immediately to have mobility assesed. Natal teeth can potentially cause mouth sores and create nursing issues. 

 

Infant

As a rule of thumb, you should take your child in for their first visit some time before their first birthday.

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What Can You Expect?

Pediatric dentists, like Dr. Hines, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Norman and Dr. Pagé have specialized training with both infants and young children. Not all genaral dentists understand how to work with infant patients. When you first come into our office with your child on or around their first birthday, you should bring a favorite toy or blanket to help soothe them. When you arrive, we will review your child's history and then give you a chance to address any questions or concerns that you might have. Our doctors will then discuss what you can expect in the next few months in regards to your child's development, teething, potential cavities (and how to prevent them), how to properly care for your child's teeth.

As soon as you and your child are ready, we will conduct a knee-to-knee oral examination, meaning, you and one of our doctors will sit face to face, with your child facing you, and then you will lay him or her down, so that their head is in the dentist's lap. We will then look at your child's teeth gently, but thoroughly, examining their jaw, teeth, etc. As part of the exam, we will teach you how to care for your child's teeth (and give you a chance to practice), and discuss your child's risk for developing cavities or having problems with their bite. If necessary, your child may receive a teeth cleaning and fluoride, especially if they are at high risk for developing cavities. At the end of your visit, you will be well equipped with knowledge to properly care for your child's teeth. You should then set an appointment to come back into our office in six month's time.

Why Should You Take Your Child to See A Pediatric Dentist?

Children are not immune to cavities. Nearly 25% of children will have a cavity by the time they are 4 years old, and many will get a cavity before they even turn 2 years old. Some parents believe that it is not necessary to take care of the baby teeth because they will just fall out any way, but that is not true. You will need to properly care for your children's teeth from the moment that they start to appear. If you don't, your child could experience painful cavities, gingivitis (gum disease), or premature tooth loss. Baby teeth also act as placeholders for permanent teeth, so properly caring for baby teeth will help permanent teeth come in straight.

A visit with Dr. Hines will also teach you how to properly care for your child's mouth and teeth, combat oral habits such as thumb sucking, and prevent accidents and injuries that could damage their teeth. We also will help you understand tooth milestones, and the link between a good diet and oral health. It is important to take your child to visit Dr. Hines at a young age to help prevent tooth decay, identify concerns, as well as help acclimate your child to visits to Hines Little Smiles.

Dr. Hines and the rest of our staff are excited for you to come visit us at our Columbus, OH office. If you have any questions please contact us, and schedule an appointment today!

Areas we serve: Gahanna, New Albany, Westerville, Blacklick, Reynoldsburg