Each and every day your baby is hitting new milestones, and your child’s first dental visit is definitely another one to add to the scrapbook! We recommend that your babies first dental visit take place as soon as their first tooth appears, but not any later than their first birthday. Why should you take your child to the dentist before their first birthday? The answer, is as soon as your baby begins to form teeth, they can begin to form cavities. It’s about being as proactive as you possible can about your child’s dental health. What you do for them today can help them keep their smile healthy for the rest of their life.
How to Prepare Your Child For Their First Dental Visit
The best advice is to start early! In order to better prepare your child for their first dental visit, talk to them about what will happen at the Dentist’s office and remember to be positive. Try to prepare your child for when the Dentist will check their teeth by having them practice opening their mouth and say “Ahhhhh”. Watching videos or going to the library and finding a good book to read about a child’s first dental visits might also help alleviate fears and make your child more confident during their first visit with a pediatric dentist.
Parents can prepare themselves as well. When you set your child’s first dental appointment, it helps to fill out the necessary patient forms ahead of time. It will save you time during your visit and allow you more time to put your child at ease during your visit with the Dentist. You may want to make a list of questions to ask your Pediatric Dentist, as well. If your child is teething, using their pacifier too much, or sucking their thumb- your dentist can offer some advice to help.
What to Expect During Your First Visit With Your Pediatric Dentist
Your Pediatric Dentist will perform a complete examination of your child’s mouth in order to make sure that their teeth and jaw are developing in the proper method that they should be. It’s usually a short visit and involves very little treatment. During your child’s first dental visit, if your child isn’t able to sit in the dental chair alone, you may sit in the dental chair holding them in your lap. The dentist will check your child’s mouth for any cavities, injuries or any other dental issues. During the final part of the examination, the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and provide you with helpful hints that you can use for your child’s daily oral care.
Don’t feel anxious or upset if your child is restless and cries during the exam. It’s completely normal, so don’t worry! We all understand that this is a new experience for your child and will make every effort to put them at ease during their visit.
4 Tips for Your Child’s First Dental Visit
- Try not to schedule their first appointment during their typical naptime. It’s advised that you pick a time of day for their visit when your child is normally well-rested and most likely to be cooperative.
- Make sure to feed your child a light meal and then help them brush their teeth before their first dental visit. This way they won’t be hungry during their visit and less fidgety.
- It’s advised that you save snacks until after your child completes their visit so that bits of food aren’t on your child’s teeth during their dental exam.
- Think of your child’s first dental appointment as a happy and fun experience and a milestone to enjoy and remember. If your child begins to get upset during the visit, remember it’s normal and try to work with your dentist to calm down your child. We’re all on the same team and want them to have the best care and best experience possible!