Preparing For Your Child’s 1st Dental Visit

children's dental services chapel hill nc

Baby teeth are a new stage in your child’s development, allowing children to explore a new variety of foods and shaping their smile. While parents of infants may think, “she’s only got four teeth,” it’s important to visit the dentist when your child’s first tooth comes in. 

While these first dental visits are mostly informative in nature, they help parents and children establish a foundation for oral health that lasts a lifetime. Tarheel Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC offers comprehensive dentistry for the whole family. Learn more about how to start your child’s dental care off on the right foot.

Finding a Pediatric Dentist

Finding a pediatric dentist you can trust is important. Check with your pediatrician or consult your insurance company for recommendations for pediatric dentists. You might also ask friends or family members about area providers. Most dentists have websites that showcase their practices, allowing you to get a feel for them before making an appointment.

Prepare in Advance

Prior to the appointment, make sure you verify insurance coverage and plan for any copays from the insurance company. For the highest chance of success in the office, make sure your child is well rested and not hungry when it’s time for the appointment.

If you are bringing an older child in for the first time, it may help to talk about what will happen during the appointment beforehand. Try reading books or watching videos about dentist appointments to help them visualize what the visit will be like. Nervousness is normal, even in adults who visit the dentist, and children need to be reassured that the dentist is there to help, not scare them.

What to Expect During Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

The first time your young child visits the dentist we take the time to allow them to explore and feel comfortable in the dentist chair. We will gently perform a visual exam of their developing primary teeth and look at the condition of their gums and jaw structure.

Our hygienists will work with your child to carefully clean the surface of their teeth and gums with the goal of providing some instruction for parents and caregivers while helping your child become comfortable with oral hygiene.

As your child grows we will watch for any signs of development concerns that could affect their bite or the placement of the permanent teeth. Early orthodontics, strategic tooth extractions, and oral appliances will be recommended if needed to ensure your child can enjoy lifelong dental health and their most beautiful smile.

Dental sealants are typically placed in the late elementary age years as the back molars erupt, preventing decay in teeth with several cusps. This a simple, painless procedure that even adults can benefit from if they are prone to tooth decay. Dr. Cook will recommend sealants at the appropriate time and they are often placed during a separate visit.

Pediatric Dental Care in Chapel Hill, NC

Pediatric dentistry is an important part of the general dental care that Tarheel Family Dentistry offers families in the Chapel Hill area. Dr. Cook and our team of dental professionals provide comprehensive dental care for children in a warm, caring environment that nurtures their ability to care for their own oral health as they grow. Request your appointment online or schedule by phone at (919) 551-8847.