There are so many milestones for kids as they grow - including their first visit to the dentist.
Since this is their introduction into the world of oral health, you want it to be a positive experience. But wait - once you have made the appointment for your child, don’t get the jitters. Knowing what to expect can keep you calm and, in turn, keep your child calm, too.
When Should a Child First See the Dentist?
Ideally, your child should see the dentist for the first time at about 12 months of age - or within 6 months of their first tooth. Essentially this visit is designed to get your child comfortable and familiar with the surroundings - even though they probably won’t remember it. Parents will learn about caring for their baby’s teeth and the dentist may take a quick peek at the growth and development of your child.
If you didn’t take your little one to the dentist this early, no problem. There is no time like the present to start making those appointments and getting on the right track.
What to Expect at Kids’ First Dental Visit
On the first visit for your big kid at about age 3, the experience will be a little different. Your child will come in and meet the staff and the dentist. This positive interaction builds up a rapport with the staff and enhances the experience.
In a kid-friendly manner, the hygienist and dentist will talk to your child about their teeth and the importance of basic care. Parents are encouraged to interact, as well, asking any questions or bringing up any concerns.
The hygienist will have some fun showing the child how all the cool dental tools work so that there are no surprises when it comes to getting the cleaning. The chair going up and down, the water sprayer (squirt gun), and hearing the drill are all important to introduce in order to minimize fear and nervousness due to sounds and sensations.
A basic cleaning and sealing will take place, potentially including x-rays. Sealants are often applied at this time to protect any molars that may be present from cavities.
Finally, this first appointment - and usually all kids’ appointments - will end with a small reward for being such a good patient. This, too, reinforces the experience.
Tips to Prepare for the First Dental Visit
Remember, your child feeds off of your energy. So follow these steps to prepare for the first dental visit so you both have a pleasant experience.
- Read books or watch a movie about going to the dentist
- Take some time to talk about what can be expected – but keep it in a light, positive tone
- Let your child see you work through your oral hygiene routine
- Take steps to make your child relaxed so that they view their dental visits as enjoyable, rather than something to be feared
If you aren’t sure what to do to make the appointment go smoothly, call the dentist’s office and talk to them. They will know what to do.
Schedule Your Child’s First Appointment at A & R Advanced Dental Group
Are you ready to book your child’s first dental appointment? The entire staff at A & R Advanced Dental Group is compassionate and gentle. We enjoy working with all of our patients, but we have a soft spot for the little ones. And we look forward to welcoming your child.