A child’s first dental visit provides a chance for them to begin building healthy dental habits and a friendly relationship with their dentist. Though this milestone can sometimes feel scary for both children and their parents, a little preparation can help make going to the dentist a positive and educational experience for both parties.
The Importance of Early Dental Care
The Canadian Dental Association recommends infants have their first dental visit within six months of getting their first tooth or by one year of age. Early dental care appointments aim to make sure your child’s teeth are healthy and that they’ll receive good care and cleaning as your child continues to grow.
Early dental visits can allow a dentist to see whether your child’s teeth are coming in properly and address any cavities before they become a larger problem. It’s vital to prevent cavities even in baby teeth, since they can lead to pain, infection and other oral health concerns if they’re left untreated.
Early dental care can also help your child learn to take good care of their teeth. The dentist might even give you feedback on how you’re doing cleaning your child’s teeth and address potential concerns.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
Your child’s first dental visit will likely be designed to familiarize them with the dentist’s office and check on their developing teeth. At a first visit, you can usually expect the dentist to:
- Greet your child and build a rapport with them
- Talk to you and your child about dental hygiene
- Familiarize your child with common dental instruments
- Clean and polish the teeth and apply fluoride
- Examine your child’s teeth and gums for potential health concerns
- Have your child pick a fun prize to build a positive association with dental care
The dentist may also take x-rays, though they can sometimes skip this step at a first appointment if your child is nervous. If you’d like to know exactly what your child’s visit will look like, you can contact the practice directly for more information.
How to Make a First Dental Visit a Positive Experience
Many kids feel nervous at a first dental appointment. Thankfully, you can take steps to make your child feel more comfortable leading up to and during a trip to the dentist, such as:
- Meeting the dentist and touring the office before the official appointment
- Brushing your teeth with your child to familiarize them with using a toothbrush
- Asking the dentist if your child can hold your hand or sit on your lap during the appointment
- Scheduling future appointments with the same hygienist
By working to make early dental visits comfortable and fun for your child, you can help them establish lasting dental care habits. If you have questions about children’s dental care, or if you’d like to schedule a first appointment for your child, feel free to reach out to us at Dental Choice — we’ll strive to assist you and your family any way we can.