If your child has yet to visit the dentist for the first time, it’s natural to be a bit apprehensive. Fortunately, many pediatric dentists understand the slight fear and nervousness expressed by both parents and their children. This is why most websites include information about a child’s first dental visit. If you are ready to learn what you can expect during their initial dental checkup and cleaning, read the following article.
When is the Right Time to Schedule the First Visit?
It is recommended that most children have their first scheduled dental appointment when their first tooth erupts or by the time they reach the age of one. This not only allows for the dentist to establish a baseline for your child’s smile, but it also encourages the start of a long-lasting relationship between you, your child, and the pediatric dentist. By introducing your little one to the sights, sounds, and smells of a dentist’s office early on, you can minimize the potential for dental anxiety to set in later on.
What Can You Expect During the Initial Appointment?
During the first dental appointment, the pediatric dentist will examine your child’s mouth, jaw, and any developing teeth. If your little one is still a baby or even a toddler, the dentist may have you place your child on your lap to create a more comforting experience. If they’re older, they are free to sit in the dentist’s chair for treatment.
After checking for signs of decay, gum disease, cavities, or other abnormalities, a dental hygienist will quickly clean your little one’s teeth (if there are any) and provide essential tips to help you keep their smile clean while at home. You can expect the entire process to be a bit shorter than normal depending on the age of your child.
Tips to Help Your Child Prepare
It’s always a good idea to prep your child before any new event in their life. Just like you would explain all the animals they might see when visiting the zoo, you can share fun and exciting information about what they can expect when seeing the dentist for the first time. A few tips to make the process easier for everyone include:
- Appointments during naptimes and meals can leave your child fussy. Scheduling the dental visit when your child is alert, rested, ready to go will help to ensure they’re likely to cooperate.
- Talk about a dental visit in a fun way. Using upbeat words can help your child get excited about their upcoming appointment.
- Wait until after your child’s dental visit to offer them a congratulatory treat. Snacks can help to calm a little one, but it’s best if they’re not consumed until after the dental checkup.
- Allow plenty of time for your child to eat a decent meal and brush their teeth before their appointment so they won’t be hungry.
Visiting the dentist’s office for the first time doesn’t have to be a daunting or challenging experience. Finding ways to make it fun will only spark your child’s imagination and lead them to be excited about meeting their pediatric dentist.
About the Author
As a board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Homer Sedighi understands how difficult it can be to get a child excited about oral hygiene. As a parent, finding the right professional you can trust to take care of your child’s smile can be a time-consuming and exhausting process. The good news is that Dr. Sedighi and his team are here to provide exceptional and compassionate care to smiles of all ages, ensuring they build a positive relationship with your little one from the very beginning. Contact us at (636) 777-7777 to let us know how we can help you.