We cherish and savor every milestone that our babies go through and going to their first dental visit is one of them! A child’s first dental visit should usually happen as soon as their first tooth appears or around the age of 1 year (depending on the child). The reason for this is because as soon as our teeth appear we can begin to get cavities.
Generally your child’s first visit will be very short and casual with little treatment. It gives them an opportunity to sit in the chair, meet the dentist and understand what it means to go to the dentist. Often times you will have your child sit in your lap with you in the chair to make them feel more comfortable. The dentist will check over the child’s teeth to look for any that need to be addressed or cleaned. They also look at the existing teeth, gums, jaw and bite to ensure that everything is developing properly. They will also educate the parents on proper dental hygiene routines and discuss the following topics:
- Oral Hygiene
- Flouride Needs
- Teething/Tooth Eruption
- Developmental Milestones
- Dental Schedule
Lots of dentists will want to see children every 6 months like the recommended time to build up the child’s comfort and allow them to feel more confident when going to the dentist. It is very normal for your child to feel worried or slightly uncomfortable-especially during their first time. If your child cries or doesn’t sit still during their visit it’s okay. The dental team understands that it is their first visit and it will take some time for them to get used to things. We want your child to feel comfortable and safe at the dentist!
Here are some tips:
- Don’t schedule during a time that your child typically sleeps. This can make the experience even harder for them if they are overtired or out of routine.
- Talk to your child about the dental visit beforehand. Tell them what they should expect, why we go to the dentist, etc.
- Make a list of questions for the dentist. Also, keep track of how many teeth they have or if they are teething. This helps with the initial visit.
- Wait to give snacks until after the visit so to avoid having food on their teeth during their exam. This makes it easier for the dental team to evaluate.
- Make sure that you feed your child a light meal before their visit and brush right before they come.
- Reading books about the dentist or even watching short videos of other children at the dentist can ease some worries and anxiety about coming. It might help for them to see other people their age going through the same thing.
Lastly, we encourage you to try and fill out your forms before your appointment if you have time. It may be a bit easier for you to fill them out at home rather than with your child during the time of the visit. If you have any questions please reach out to us! We’d love to help you as much as we can before your visit.