Your child’s first visit to the dental office should be around his or her first birthday but could be as early as you’d like (as soon as the first tooth erupts or even sooner).
Many children express apprehension when they know they are going to the dentist for the first time. Start your baby on a lifetime of good oral hygiene at an early age. It is up to you (with help from us) to prepare your child for the visit by emphasizing the positive reasons for good dental care. Avoid using words such as “needle,” pull,” “hurt,” or “drill,” as these sometimes trigger fears in a child. The earlier the child is accustomed to visiting the dentist, the less apprehension they exhibit at future visits.
Patience and calm on your part will help ensure a successful and stress-free visit for your child. Schedule the appointment as early as possible in the day, when your child is alert and fresh.
The typical first dental appointment for your child could include one or more of the following:
- A gentle but thorough examination of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums, and oral tissues to monitor growth and development and observe any problem areas.
- If needed, a gentle cleaning, which includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar build-up, and stains.
- Digital radiographs if developmentally appropriate
- A demonstration of proper dental hygiene.
- Assessment of the need for fluoride.
Schedule a tour of the dental office in advance of your appointment, or take advantage of our online video tours, if you think this will make your child more comfortable. A sense of familiarity may result in a more positive experience. Try to build excitement around the milestone of their first dental visit. Bring completed paperwork with you to expedite your visit. These forms can be downloaded from our website.