Infant Dental Exams
At Alligator Pediatric Dentistry, we believe in preventative care and prefer to stay ahead of the “needs curve.” Starting your infant’s oral health journey as early as possible will help us stay on top of potential problems before they arise.
When your infant should first visit the dentist
The first dental exams for babies should happen within 6 months of their first tooth coming in, or by age one at the latest, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. With that said, if your child has passed both of these milestones, it’s time for a first visit! At Alligator Pediatric Dentistry, your child will be in the care of a practice led by two dentists with a combined 42 years of experience in the field.
How to prepare for your infant's first dental visit
Starting your child’s dental care early can form positive lifetime habits, and may also prevent tooth decay in its early stages. Dental exams for babies are the important first step in a long journey of positive oral care for your child.
Before you arrive for your first infant dental exam:
- You will need to fill out the new patient forms, which are available online or to print and fill out manually. This will save a little bit of time from having to fill it out in the waiting room.
- You may take an online tour of our office
- to know what to expect, from the layout of the office to the whimsical details such as butterfly skylights and, of course, lots of stuffed alligators!
- Prepare any questions you may have regarding the care and health of your child’s teeth. Examples include: toothbrushing, thumb-sucking, pacifiers, nursing-related tooth decay, fluoride, dietary questions, or anything else that is on your mind regarding your infant’s oral health.
What to expect during your child’s first infant dental exam
To know what to expect, please refer to our guide for parents in our office to get a clear sense of how we incorporate parents into the process of their child’s oral care. At Alligator Pediatric Dentistry, it’s important to us that parents and caretakers are closely involved and well-informed during every visit, and we welcome parents in the clinical area for most procedures. This is particularly true for your first infant dental exam.
Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of extra training beyond dental school, and Doctors Smith and Marlowe have decades of experience with dental care for infants. And as parents themselves, Doctors Smith and Marlowe are adept at making infants and children comfortable, and even excited, to come to the dentist.
At your child’s first visit, the dentist will perform the infant dental exam and will also discuss many aspects of your child’s oral health. You can expect to receive information on the following:*
- Best practices for preventative home care
- Preventing mouth and tooth injuries
- Habits regarding fingers and pacifiers
- Child cavities
- Growth and development
*All practices in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Signs that your infant needs to see a dentist
The above-mentioned guidelines are to come in within 6 months of the arrival of your infant’s first tooth, or by age one. We believe in preventative care, so ideally your infant or child will receive care before they “need” it. With infants, it’s more difficult to pinpoint pain sources since they can’t verbalize. Pay attention to your child’s gums, particularly during and after teething and incorporate regular dental visits into your child’s life.
Please also refer to our list of dental emergencies and call us any time if you have any concerns.
We look forward to meeting you and your child for your first infant dental exam!