What YOU Need to Know About Your Toddler’s First Dental Checkup

Oh toddlers. They are loud, demanding…but oh so darn CUTE! #dailybocaavery had the most adorable little toddler smile when she was younger. But once I saw that toothy grin (a few hundred times), it dawned on me that it was time for my toddler’s first dental checkup.

So, I made that appointment, but didn’t know what the heck to do next. How do you prepare a toddler for their first dental checkup? Speaking of checkups, I need to book myself in for one. A friend of mine did mention that Box Hill Dental Clinic open on Saturday for General Dental Care, plus I know this is something I need to do. Dental hygiene is very important, no matter you age or how many times Dentist Alhambra goes on about it, but, I also want to set a good example for my daughter too!

I called on Modern Boca Mom’s favorite pediatric dentist, Dr. Drew Popper of Junior Smiles, for the advice I never got when I needed it the most…

  1. At what age do you recommend coming in for your toddler’s first dental checkup?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends visiting the dentist at the time of the first tooth’s eruption, but no later than 12 months of age. While there are only a few teeth in the mouth to evaluate, many dental anomalies can be identified at an early age.

In addition, this allows your child to build a relationship with their dentist. If they have any trauma or cavities in the future, this familiar relationship leads to an easier appointment.

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toddler's first dental checkup

  1. What are some ways to put your child at ease if they are nervous about visiting the dentist?

I like to explain to the children that we are just brushing their teeth, just like they do at home with their parents. At Junior Smiles, we have iPads with games on them, toys and a children’s library. This puts my patients at ease. In the back, there are televisions and kid-friendly walls. It does not feel like your typical doctor’s office.

We take a great deal of time to allow each child to warm up to us so that they have a positive experience and look forward to coming back in the future.

toddler's first dental checkup

  1. What can parents expect from their toddler’s first dental checkup?

Parent’s are always allowed to accompany their child at Junior Smiles. Once we bring the child to the back, we give them a tour of the office showing off our open bay clinic and tooth brushing station.

Then, we review everything we will be completing during their initial visit. This includes a cleaning, radiographs (depending on cooperation), oral hygiene instructions, a new patient exam and fluoride application.

toddler's first dental checkup

To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child’s risk of developing cavities. They also need to learn how to manage diet, hygiene and fluoride to prevent problems. However cavities aren’t all that parents need to learn about their child’s dental health.

Our age 1 dental visit lets parents discuss:
  • How to care for an infant’s or toddler’s mouth
  • Proper use of fluoride
  • Oral habits, including finger and thumb sucking
  • Ways to prevent accidents that could damage the face and teeth
  • Teething and milestones of development
  • The link between diet and oral health
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Finally we will make recommendations to an orthodontist if necessary and answer any questions.

  1. What do you do to put parents at ease…who are as equally nervous as their child?

I understand that many of our parents are more nervous than the child at their first visit. To accommodate them, we explain everything very thoroughly before their initial visit to make sure parents understand how we will be proceeding. We understand that parents place a great deal of trust in us. Therefore, my priority lies in establishing a positive, open line of communication with parents.

  1. Any other tips?

Create a sense of excitement about your child’s first dental visit!

toddler's first dental checkup

While many adults have had negative and traumatizing experiences at the dentist in the past, it is important to recognize that we do not want to pass those fears on to your child. If we are able to start off in a positive environment at your toddler’s first dental checkup, we can use many preventative measures to make sure they have a great experience going forward.

Great advice, as always, Dr. Popper!


Please visit www.JuniorSmiles.com to see their reviews!

toddler's first dental checkup

Summer Specials
  1. $89 new patient special
  2. Free Oral-B electric toothbrush with new patient visit

Most insurances accepted! Flexible hours!

Phone: 561-210-7788
9930 Clint Moore Rd
Sponsored: This toddler’s first dental checkup blog post was sponsored by Junior Smiles. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information and I have been compensated, but that does not impact my views or opinions.