Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment

Published on November 29th, 2016

The first year of your child’s life is no doubt a busy time. There are many different appointments you should make to ensure your little on is healthy, and the dentist is no exception. Starting your child’s oral health off on the right foot is a great way to encourage good dental habits down the road. Below is a guide to your child’s first dentist appointment.

When Should We Go?

Generally, we’d recommend that you schedule your child’s first dental appointment shortly after their first tooth emerges (within 6 months) or at least by age one. Your child’s pediatrician will usually do an oral examination of some kind, however pediatric dentists are specially trained to identify and treat potential development issues during these early stages of life. Baby teeth are far more susceptible to decay than their adult counterparts, so it’s critical to catch problems early on and correct them to ensure that your child’s mouth starts of healthy and stays that way.

What Should We Expect?

First-timers usually get a short, sweet visit to the dentist. Generally, the dentist will meet the child, take a look at their mouth for issues with the child’s bite, any potential tooth decay, gum, jaw, & tissue problems, and barring any problems, send them on their way. A hygienist will likely clean whatever teeth are there, and the doctor will discuss best practices for oral health with you and your child. You may be asked to hold your child while sitting in the dental chair during the examination.

How Can We Prepare?

Parents should start brushing a child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. We recommend starting kids off early with good oral health habits. After all, practice makes perfect. So get your little one brushing as soon as you can! You can use songs & games to help encourage the kids to brush their teeth correctly. Getting them into a strictly enforced routine will help good oral health become second nature to them.

You can also make sure that they don’t feel anxious about the dentist by leading by example. Make the dentist sound like a fun day out rather than a scary doctor’s appointment. Show them that it is not a scary place to be and dismiss any fears they might have. Speak with your dentist to learn more about what you can do to prepare your child for their first checkup!

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