Here’s the drill… (or not)
Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be stressful for everyone, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. Because it’s the first visit, your child has no reason to fear or dislike the dentist’s office, and you can keep it that way. Many children even enjoy it because of all the personal attention they receive!
However, when it comes to the exam, your child may be surprised and uncomfortable with a stranger trying to open and touch inside their mouths, so your reassuring presence is important.
One great way to accustom your child to the idea of going to the dentist is to play dentist with them at home. This will help them adjust to the idea and give them a positive impression of the dentist and of caring for their teeth.
When should I bring my child for the first visit to the dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should have their first dental visit by age 1. This may seem early, but studies have shown that cavities are becoming more common among preschool-aged children. Also, the one-year visit is an important opportunity to prevent problems down the road.
What will happen during the first checkup?
The first visit has 4 main goals:
- educate parents about oral care
- check to make sure your child’s teeth and mouth are healthy
- discuss any potential for future dental issues and prevention
- answer your questions
Very little treatment is likely to take place, though the dentist may apply a fluoride treatment if your child needs additional cavity protection.
During your appointment, the dentist will address such topics as oral care, teething, diet and nutrition, thumb sucking and other damaging habits, and ongoing dental development.
Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions! Also, don’t be afraid to ask the dentist or hygienist to demonstrate anything you’re uncertain about. Developing good dental habits early is the best ways to protect teeth over a lifetime.
Why should I choose My Family Dentistry?
Here at My Family Dentistry, it is one of our highest priorities that all of our patients are comfortable and have positive experiences in our office. Feel free to call us any time to learn more about how we can provide the best possible care for your child.
However, if you’re not located in East Tennessee, just make sure you find a dentist you like and trust, who listens to your questions, and treats your child gently and kindly.
Have you already been through the dreaded First Visit? Tell us your stories in the comments below!
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Latest posts by Dr. Wesley Mullins (Knoxville Dentist)
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