What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

Having a new baby in the house is such an exciting time! Seeing your child grow from a tiny infant to an interactive baby as they discover the world around them is an experience that all parents cherish for their whole lives. As the drooling starts in their mouth, you think it is coming but you don’t see anything. You wait for months and months and finally, there it is! Your child’s first tooth! Now what?

It is a good idea to start seeing the pediatric dentist within six months after your child’s first tooth erupts through the gums and no later than your child’s first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that it is a good idea for a child to have their first dental appointment by age 1.

Your child’s first dental appointment will be fun for everyone. It gives the pediatric dentist a chance to meet your little one and talk to you in detail about any concerns that you may have. The initial visit is short and allows the dentist to examine their mouth, as well as other oral structures. She/He will show them all the fun things used for their exam in a relaxed, child-friendly way. During the oral exam, the pediatric dentist will check for cavities and examine their gums, jaw and bite. This examination allows us to ensure that everything is developing normally. Your little one will also get his or her teeth cleaned. We also provide tips on how to keep their mouth healthy, what to expect as time goes by, answers regarding teething and thumb sucking, food choices, pacifiers and bottle feedings. We also supply all parent with other important information about how to protect their beautiful smile.

Remember that this is your child’s very first dental visit! If you are positive and excited, they will probably feel that energy and be all smiles about it too. Every child is different, so all is not lost if they are fussy! We understand and will examine them in an extremely gentle way. It is always our goal to do our best to make your child smile and be happy by the end!

In our office, we want kids to be excited to come see us! Many of our patients count the days until their next dental appointment. We have many fun ways to help children feel at ease in our dental office.

“Tell-Show-Do”

We show them the tooth brush or an instrument, point it out and then pick it up. Your child can hold or touch some of the tools with assistance. The children often enjoy when we show them how the chair goes up and down like a fun ride. The little one can sit on mom or dad’s lap during this time. If your child is a little bit more adventurous, mom or dad can sit at their feet while the child sits in the chair.

Praise

We always like to point out the things that the child is doing so well with during the exam. This makes them feel happy and comfortable and at ease in their space

Distraction

We love finding out what the children like to do and talking to them about it! We share stories with them and distract their attention in positive ways so that they are focused on the fun happenings around them.

Parent Participation

We absolutely love our parents to be active participants in this whole process. Infants and young children will feel a lot more comfortable if their parents are close to them in a new environment. When children see their dentist regularly a positive relationship can be built directly between the patient and dentist. With older children, sometimes it may be better for parents to wait in the waiting room so that the child has a chance to build a relationship with the dental team independently. Sometimes, parents sit right outside the door, watching everything but not in plain view of their child. If your child is under the age of 18, we ask that a parent or legal guardian is present in the facility during dental appointments.

Questions? Call our office to set up an appointment or speak to our staff about your child’s teeth.

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