Visiting your pediatric dentist is just as important for maintaining your child’s health.
There are a lot of firsts in your child’s life: the first time they smiled at you; your child’s first steps; his first words. As your child grows you’ll only continue to enjoy these wonderful milestones; however, there is another milestone that you shouldn’t forget: your child’s first dental visit. While this might not be the first thing on your mind, it’s certainly just as important as ensuring that your child sees his pediatrician routinely. So when should you bring your child in for his first dental visit, and what should you expect when you walk through our office doors? We’ll give you the scoop on everything you’ll need to know for an easy first visit.
When should my child first go to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you schedule your child’s first dental visit on his first birthday, or within six months after his first tooth appears (whichever comes first).
What will the visit entail?
This first visit is relatively short. It’s just important that we are able to establish a friendly and relaxing rapport with your child. The sooner we can get your child accustomed to the dentist, the more natural dental visits will feel in the future.
If your child seems nervous, we may have you sit in the exam chair and have your child sit in your lap. Just having you near will help make him comfortable and show that nothing bad is going to happen.
During the actual exam, we will check any teeth that have come in and make sure there is no decay. We will also assess his bite and check the gums, jaw and tissue to make sure that everything is healthy and developing normally. We may also clean your child’s teeth, if necessary.
Also, expect to sit down with your child’s dentist and talk about basic care and oral tips that parents should be teaching their children. The sooner you can instill a daily brushing and flossing regime, the more likely they will be to keep up with the routine.
What can you do to make your child’s first dental experience a good one?
Stay calm and relaxed from the start of the trip to the very end. You want to make your child feel at ease. You don’t want him associating the visit with negative emotions. We will do everything we can to also ensure that your child feels comfortable. Try to refrain from using nervous tones or scary words that could make your child anxious. Let’s work together to guarantee that your child’s first dental visit is a breeze.
It also might not be a bad idea to offer some kind of reward system for good dental-visit behavior. Stickers, coloring books, a toy or even a small treat would be a great way to tell your child that he was a superhero at the dentist.
If you have any questions about your child’s oral health or it’s time to schedule his first visit, you can always call our office. We can’t wait to make your child smile.