As family dentists we’re committed to providing the best dental service to your entire family from an early age. We follow American Dental Association guidelines in recommending that the best time for a child’s first dental visit is either at age one or when that first tooth erupts.
Baby teeth are more porous and susceptible to decay than adult teeth, so early detection and intervention is critical to ensure those tiny teeth stay healthy. At this first visit, we’ll do a routine check of your child’s mouth, discuss proper cleaning routines and give that tooth a little polish to remove any plaque.
If you’re child’s a little older and hasn’t had his first dental visit, it’s never too late. Bring him or her in as soon as you can.
Here are some secrets to ensuring that your child’s visit is successful and sets the stage for a positive dental experience and good dental health.
Examine infant teeth at home.
Your child will be more comfortable having her teeth checked in a dentist’s office if she’s already experienced it at home. Make time during or after a bath or after meals to peer into her mouth. Even if she has no teeth, you can be gently wiping her gums with a clean wet cloth. All of this will prepare her for her visit.
Explain and role play.
As mentioned above, regular home exams go a long way in preparing your child for the dentist. As he gets older, you can talk with him more about what to expect each time he visits. Role play with him; give him a chance to be both the patient and the dentist. Books about visiting the dentist are also useful in educating your kids about their next visit.
Timing Is important.
No one does well when they’re hungry or tired. When scheduling your child’s dental visit, try to make it for a time of day when they’re most alert and positive. Consider scheduling the appointment after a nap or a meal.
Your attitude matters – keep it positive.
You don’t have to go overboard about how great the dentist is (although we appreciate that!). But you should keep an upbeat attitude when you talk to your children about the dentist. On the day of the visit, treat the appointment as a routine, positive event.
Consistency fosters a sense of security. When you schedule regular visits (at least twice a year) and discuss what to expect during those visits your child will know what to expect and feel more confident.