FAQ About Your Child's First Dental Visit

FAQ About Your Child's First Dental Visit

When your child's first dental visit is coming up, you may wonder what to expect. During your child's first visit, we'll take x-rays so we can get a full picture of their oral health. We may also clean their teeth to remove any bacteria or plaque buildup and check their bite alignment.

We'll also talk with you and your child about brushing and flossing techniques. We may even recommend adding fluoride to their diet to strengthen their teeth and prevent decay.

This appointment is usually short, lasting about an hour in total. If your child is nervous, we also offer laser dentistry options that can help decrease anxiety and provide a more positive experience for the patient.

We understand that dental care can be scary for children. Our goal is to make their first visit a positive one so that they can start establishing healthy habits that last a lifetime! Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about pediatric dental visits.

  • What should you expect from your child's first visit?

Your child's first experience at the dentist's office will be pretty low-key and kid-friendly. The dentist and staff will want to make your child feel as comfortable as possible, so they will likely choose the most conservative of treatments for your child's teeth. This means that if tooth decay is present, it will be treated with fluoride varnish or with fillings if needed. Prevention is such a priority for a dentist that if your child's mouth is healthy and clean, no treatment will be necessary.

If this is the first time you've been to the dentist with your child, then you'll want to have a conversation about dietary habits at home. The dentist will address brushing habits and diet with you, as well as answer any questions that you may have. During this same appointment, the dentist will also evaluate your child's oral structures to check for misalignments. If they notice any problems, they will let you know what the next steps of treatment are.

  • When should my child see a dentist for the first time?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen by a dentist by their first birthday. This allows the dentist to examine your child's mouth and teeth, discuss the importance of good oral hygiene habits, and address any risk factors for future dental problems. Your child's first visit to the dentist is an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions and get advice on caring for your child's oral health at home between visits.

  • What causes baby bottle tooth decay?

When your baby uses a bottle to fall asleep or for naps, the deep grooves in their molars can trap sugars and acids that lead to cavities. If left untreated, cavities can lead to severe pain and even tooth loss. Caring for your baby's teeth is a lifelong investment for both their dental health and overall health.

We recommend that your child's first dental visit be when they get their first tooth — usually between six months and one year of age. At that first visit, we will assess your child's risk for cavities and talk with you about the best ways for you to care for your infant's teeth and gums. We will also answer any questions you might have about your son or daughter's teeth and oral health.

  • How do I care for my child's teeth at home?

Children need gentle, loving care when it comes to their teeth. Pediatric dentists and parents should work together to ensure that children develop good habits that'll last a lifetime. Here are some of the best oral care tips to follow for your child.

  1. Make brushing and flossing fun! It's important to encourage your child to brush and floss every day, but doing so doesn't have to be a chore. Turn it into a game by letting your child pick out his or her own toothbrush or toothpaste flavor. Let them choose a favorite song to listen to while they're brushing, too!
  2. Get in the habit of putting your baby to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with water instead of milk or juice to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Pacifiers can also be helpful for keeping babies from sucking their thumbs or fingers.
  3. Start cleaning your child's gums even before the first tooth comes in. Gently wipe the gums with a clean, soft washcloth after feedings. Once that first tooth is out, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean it twice a day. Use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush for the best results.
  4. Limit sugary foods and drinks. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar to produce acids that lead to tooth decay, making sugary treats like candy and soda especially bad for your oral health. Instead, offer healthy options like low-fat yogurt, cheese, fruits, and vegetables. Water is always a great choice as well!
  • What should I do to prepare my child for the first dental visit?

Many parents are unsure of how to prepare their children for their first dental appointment. Here are a few tips to help ease your child's anxiety and make their experience a positive one.

  • Choose the right office - Not all dental offices are the same. At Grant Gerety DDS, our goal is to make every child feel welcome. We want them to feel that they are in a place that is made just for them. Our offices are designed with kids in mind. Plus, our dentists are incredibly friendly, which can put any child at ease.
  • Know what to expect -You can talk to your child about what will happen during their first visit to the dentist. Let them know that the dentist will count their teeth, clean them, and examine them. You can even let them know that they will probably get some stickers after the visit is finished!
  • Be honest with your child - You may want to avoid telling your child about any negative stories you have heard from other people about their visits to the dentist. Or you may not want to discuss your own bad experiences you had at the dentist as a child. However, children often pick up on their parent's anxiety. If you are nervous or anxious about visiting the dentist, then your children will be too. Instead, be honest with them about the process and how it will benefit them in the long run.

To take care of your child's oral health, contact Grant Gerety, DDS, at Warren Clinic Bldg # 7, 4606 E. 67th St., Suite 310, Tulsa, OK 74136. Call us at (918) 493-3031 to book an appointment. 


Warren Clinic Bldg # 7, 4606 E. 67th St., Suite 310, Tulsa, OK 74136

Office Hours

MON - WED 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

THU 8:30 am - 2:00 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: lovemydentist1@att.net

Phone: (918) 493-3031