Your baby goes through important moments every day, and his first visit to the dentist is another important moment to include in his journal!
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should take place after his first tooth appears, but no later than his first birthday. Why so soon? As soon as your baby has teeth, he can develop a cavity. Being proactive about your child’s dental health now can encourage your child to have a healthy smile for life. (Need a dentist? Use our Find a Dentist tool to find a local dentist.)
How to prepare
Get started soon! To prepare your child for the visit, talk about what is going to happen and be positive. Have your child practice opening her mouth so that she is ready or ready when the dentist counts and checks her teeth. Reading books or watching videos on the theme of visits to the dentist can also make the child less afraid and feel more secure.
Moms and dads can get ready too. When you make the appointment, it is not a bad thing to ask in advance for the forms to be filled out. It may be quicker and easier than filling them at home rather than at the dentist’s office on the day of your visit.
Make a list of questions, too. If your child is teething, thumb sucking, or pacifier or dummy too much, your dentist can give you some advice.
And take the time to sort out your own feelings before the date. Perhaps you have trouble with anxiety or are worried about some part of your child’s visit. Try not to let the child know that you are worried, as it could infect the way you feel.
What to Expect During the Visit
The dentist will examine your child to make sure his jaws are developing the way they should. During the visit, you will be sitting in the dental chair with your child on your lap if your child cannot, or will not, sit in the chair alone. Once that part of the exam is over, the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and give you tips for their daily care.
If your child cries or fidgets a lot during the test, don’t worry. It is normal and the dental team understands that this is a new experience for your child!
Tips for a Positive Experience
Don’t make an appointment at nap time. Instead, choose a time when your child is generally well-rested and cooperative.
Make sure your child has a light meal and brushes his teeth before the appointment so that he is not hungry during the visit.
Save the snacks for after the visit so they aren’t on your child’s teeth during the exam.
See the date as a fun and happy visit. If your child is upset during the visit, help your dentist calm him down. He is on your same team!
Your baby’s teeth require proper treatment, so it is very important to know when to take him to the treating dentist.