Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Your Child's First Dental Visit

First dental visit is around age of 6 months or when the first tooth appears in the mouth.

Parents often ask me when their child should have their first dental visit. My answer may surprose you.

First a little background.

I)     Dental care is mandated by state laws and the Affordable Care Act

Children are required to make a dental visit in my state before entering certain grades in school. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare if you prefer) mandates that all children have dental insurance coverage.

II)     Many times the first visit for children is an emergency

This is because parents may not think of taking their child to the dentist till the child has fallen and injured a tooth, has a toothache, or they see a spot on a tooth. Pediatricians, who will be seeing the child right after birth, have never been taught about early dental care and the need for it.

III)     The best time for an infant to visit the dentist is around the age of 6 months.     

Why see the dentist so early in life?

We wish meet several objectives with early and regular visits

First, we want to establish a positive and healthy relationship with a child right away. Often irrational fears arise from a painful first emergency dental appointment, horror stories from other family members etc. In addition unpleasant visits to other doctors for vaccinations can color a child's perceptions of "doctor offices" perceptions for a lifetime. One early painful visit to a dentist or doctor often have people afraid for the rest of their lives.

Second, we want to insure that healthy hygiene (cleaning) habits for the child's teeth, gums are established right away with the child and parent. we will teach how to clean a child's teeth with and instill a regular routine right away.

Third, we want to help the parents develop good diet, and other habits for the child before damage is done. These include proper use of pacifiers, and contents of  bottles of fluid given to the child, and managing harmful habits like thumb and finger sucking. 

Fourth, tracking  growth and development of the teeth and jaws  and any abnormal growth patterns are noted as well as any advised interceptive treatment recommendations.

As you can see there s a lot going on in a growing infant that parents may not be aware of. Early preventive and interceptive care helps prevent fears, and more problematic dental issues as well as keeping cost down in the long run.

Get your child to the dentist early in life to develop good diet, hygiene habits, catch problems while they are easily corrected, to prevent fear, and  build rapport with you dentist.

Your questions and comments are welcome

Visit our website at

or call us now to make an appointment at 815 459 2202

Phillip C. Neal DDS

1 comment:

  1. It's really important to take your child to the dentist to promote good dental health.

    Children’s Dentistry


About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.