The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children be evaluated by a dentist before age 1 or within six months following the eruption of an infants first tooth. This allows a child to establish a ‘dental home’ which has been shown to significantly improve oral health in children and reduces apprehension toward dental visit that was very common with previous generations. By caring for expecting moms as well, Galligan Family Dentistry goes above and beyond the AAPD recommendations by educating and preparing expecting moms even before your child is born. We then continue that counseling and education at subsequent mom checkups, where newborns and infants are often sleeping chair-side in their stroller. Around the first birthday, we invite parents to arrange initial infant ‘lap visit’ checkups just for the little-one, that allows Dr. Galligan to examine your child’s oral tissues and provides ample time to discuss important topics such as diet, hygiene, oral habits, and developmental milestones. Although we recommend age 1 for initial visits, its never too late to arrange a first visit for our child at Galligan Family Dentistry. We’ll welcome your child with open arms and provide them with an fun, educational, andcaring visit that you’d want for your child’s first encounter at the dentist.
How to Prepare for the Fist Visit
Prior to your child’s first visit, it is often helpful to have your infant visit us during a parent or sibling cleaning appointment. This will allow the child to experience the surroundings and learn new faces even before their first visit. By witnessing an older sibling’s successful checkup and cleaning appointment and receipt of a prize, often times the younger child is eager and excited about their first visit.
Reading children books about visiting the dentist and some educational cartoons are helpful to introduce children to dentist checkups. Consider reading a few fun-themed books with your child or review websites portraying dentist imagery for infants.