As a parent, of course you want to do everything you possibly can to keep your child healthy and happy. Keeping a smile on their faces means taking care of their dental health. A child’s first visit to the dentist is an important milestone, and it’s important to know when to go and what to expect. In this blog, we’ll discuss when to schedule your first appointment and what to expect during your first dental visit.
When to schedule your child’s first visit
It’s recommended that within six months of your kids’ eruption of their first tooth or once your kids reach the age of one, that you should take them to see a dentist for children. Now, you may be thinking, this is really early? However, it’s important to take them early so that a professional dentist can identify any dental problems that they may have early on to tackle them straight away and to help establish good and lasting dental habits from a young age.
What to expect during the first visit
During your child’s first visit to the dentist, our dentists will likely start by getting to know you, your child, and discussing any concerns or questions you may have. They will also perform a comprehensive dental exam, including a visual examination of your child’s teeth, gums and mouth.
Our children’s dentists may also take X-rays of your child’s teeth to check for any hidden issues or cavities. If your child is at risk of developing cavities, we might recommend fluoride treatments or dental sealants to help prevent any potential decay. We can also provide you with guidance on how to care for your child’s teeth at home, including tips on brushing, flossing and nutrition.
How to prepare your child for their first visit
Your child’s first visit to the dentist will typically be a short and simple appointment, designed to get them familiar with the dental office and the dentist. Here’s what you can expect during the visit:
1. Talk to them
It’s important that before their dental visit, you explain to your little ones what will happen during the visit, using simple and positive language. Let them know that the dentist will check their teeth and make sure they are healthy, and that they will sit in a special chair. It’s a good idea to emphasize to your kids that their dentists are there to help them, which can help dissipate any nervousness they may have.
2. Play pretend
Let your imagination run wild and play dentist-patient games with your child at home! Role-play a dental visit with your child at home, using a toothbrush and a mirror. This will help them become far more familiar with the idea of having their teeth checked by a dentist.
3. Read books
It’s always a great idea to help your kids get more familiar with dentists by reading them illustrated books and showing them informative and engaging videos. Gradually, these help your child feel more comfortable and familiar with the dental visit as they learn more about why going to dental appointments is so important and, most importantly, that it’s ok if they’re nervous, but the dentists are there to help them.
4. Stay positive
It’s important that, as a parent, you maintain a positive outlook about the dentists so that your children have a role model to look up to. Using positively connotated words when describing the dentist and steer clear from negatively connotated words.
5. Bring along a favorite toy or comfort item to help your child feel more at ease.
If your kid loves clutching onto their favorite toy or item when nervous, bring it along to their first dental appointment. It can help calm them down so they feel more at ease. Sometimes, a comfort item gives your kids a little boost of courage as well!
Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be a daunting experience, but it’s an important step in establishing good oral hygiene habits and ensuring that your child’s teeth and gums are healthy. At Everton Park Dental Clinic, our experienced children’s dentists understand the importance of establishing a positive relationship with your child and providing gentle, compassionate care. We offer a welcoming and child-friendly environment that is designed to make your child feel comfortable and at ease during their visit. By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can help make your child’s first visit to the dentist a positive and successful experience. At Everton Park Dental Clinic, our children’s dentists are committed to providing the highest quality care possible, to ensure that your child’s dental health is in good hands.