Your Child’s First Visit with a Family Dentist in Grande Prairie

The first “regular” dental visit should be just after your child’s first birthday. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the examination. 


Our dental staff at Gateway Dentistry Group will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums. Depending on the age, level of cooperation and oral health of the child, we may also take X-rays (to reveal decay and check on progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums), clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth.


What should I tell my child about their first dental visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child’s reaction to his/her first visit to the dentist may surprise you.



Some First Visit Tips:

  • Take your child for a preview or online tour of the office
  • Read books with them about going to the dentist
  • Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit
  • Speak positively about your own dental experiences


What will happen during the first visit with your dentist?

  • Examination of your child’s mouth, teeth and gums
  • Evaluate adverse habits like thumb sucking
  • Check to see if your child needs fluoride
  • Teach you about cleaning your child’s teeth and gums
  • Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits


What about preventative care?
Tooth decay and children no longer have to go hand-in-hand. At our office, we are most concerned with all aspects of preventative care. We use sealants to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants are plastics that are bonded to the chewing surfaces of decay prone back teeth. This is just one of the ways we will set the foundation for your child’s lifetime of good oral health.


Cavity Prevention
Most of the time, cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, or course, can help. The longer it takes your child to chew their food, the longer the residue stays on their teeth, the greater the chances of getting cavities.


Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars. During this time, the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.



Tips for Cavity Prevention:

  • Limit frequency of meals and snacks.
  • Encourage brushing, flossing and rinsing.
  • Watch what you drink.
  • Avoid sticky foods.
  • Make treats part of meals.
  • Choose nutritious snacks.


The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about six to eight months old. Next to follow will be the four upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about two and a half years old.



At around two and a half years old, your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of five and six, the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don’t. Don’t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late. All children are different.



Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth, but they are important to chewing, biting, speech, and appearance. For this reason, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.

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