As a new parent, you’re probably already familiar with visits to your pediatrician for your son or daughter. In addition to your child’s overall physical health, it’s just as important to begin thinking about their dental health in the first year. Let’s take a look at when you should take your child to the dentist for their first dentist appointment and how to prepare for this occasion.
When should I take my child to the dentist for their first dentist appointment?
Parents should take their toddlers to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. This usually comes before their first birthday, but every child develops at a slightly different speed. At the same time, you should begin brushing your child’s teeth each day.
You might not know that children’s teeth actually start to form even before they are born. Some children receive their baby teeth as early as four months old, which would be when you’d need to take them for their first dentist appointment. While this might seem like a very young age to go to the dentist, the better care you take of their teeth early on, the more likely they will be to have healthy teeth in the future. If you have any concerns about your child’s development or lack of teeth, you might also want to consider coming in to see our team. It’s best to discuss any concerns with a professional instead of leaving things to chance when it comes to your baby’s health.
How to Prepare for a First Dentist Appointment
We don’t need you to do much ahead of your appointment, but we do recommend trying to book an appointment time that suits your child’s schedule. Every child has a time of the day when they are most content, and this will make the appointment easier for everyone. Try to bring along a favorite toy with you so they are distracted during the appointment. Apart from that, you can try to prepare your child for our session, but we recommend you don’t make too much of a fuss over them, or they may start to notice your anxiety about visiting the dentist.
4 Tips for Your Child’s First Trip to the Dentist
Not sure where to start or what to expect? Here are a few tips for you to consider in regards to your child’s first dentist appointment.
You may be wondering when your child should first see a dentist. The general rule of thumb is to have the first visit by the first birthday. Since the number of early childhood cavities has grown, it’s important to start healthy dental hygiene sooner rather than later.
The first visit to the dentist is primarily about getting your child used to visiting the dentist and sitting in the dentist’s chair. At this young age, our team focuses on educating parents about how to look after their baby’s teeth. By the age of two, you’ll need to ensure your child is visiting our team at least every six months. We see a lot of cavities appear between the ages of four and six, so the sooner you get into this routine, the more likely we can prevent further issues with their teeth.
Before you make an appointment, do your research. Ask your friends and family who they use for their child’s dentist, or ask your own dentist for recommendations if they don’t work with children.
It’s also important to know the difference between a pediatric dentist and a regular dentist since a pediatric dentist is likely to have more experience and training focused on the specific needs of children’s dentistry. You’ll find our team is used to dealing with new parents who might be unsure how to care for their child’s teeth. We’ll be here to answer any questions you have and make you all feel at ease during the appointment.
Be sure to introduce your child to the dentist on their first visit. A relaxed meet and greet in the beginning can allow the child to feel more comfortable and for them to build a friendly relationship. This first appointment will likely be quick and casual, and most often you’ll be asked to stay and hold your child while the dentist takes a first look.
We’ll be here to support both you and your baby during the appointment so that you can all get used to what it feels like to visit the dentist. This will help to develop good routines and make your child feel relaxed about returning to us as they grow up.
4. Negative Feelings
Leave your own negative feelings about the dentist behind you. After all, your child has yet to even meet them. Try to keep a positive attitude and make it as fun of an appointment as possible. Don’t make a big fuss about their first dentist appointment, as this is likely to build up feelings of anxiety or get them overexcited. In no time at all, they’ll be in and out of our office, and you’ll be equipped to look after your baby’s teeth as they head into the next few years of their life.
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry
Going to the dentist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you!