The recommended age to take your child to the dentist is around one, or within six months after their first tooth pops up.
The dentist can be a frightening place for kids, so it is important to have a good first experience.
What should you both expect for your child’s first dentist appointment?
Continue reading to discover what will happen at your child’s first dental health appointment so that you can both be prepared!
How Long Will the Appointment Last?
Typically your child’s first dental health appointment won’t take very long.
There isn’t much treatment involved during the first appointment unless a problem is what brought you in. This first appointment is meant to a positive experience for your kid so that they aren’t scared to come back in the future.
The average length of the first dentist appointment is 30-45 minutes.
Introducing Your Child to Their First Dental Health Professional
Most dentists will have the parent sit in the dental chair with their child on their lap.
Having your child sit on your lap (while in the dentist’s seat) can help get them familiar with their surroundings. The first appointment is mainly talking. While the dentist and you are speaking, your child will be able to form an opinion of the office and hopefully its a good or neutral one.
At the first appointment, the dentist will likely try to create a relationship with your child. This relationship can help form trust and make your child less likely to fear them in the future.
Try your best to only talk positively about the dentist and be a strong role model for them.
The First Tooth Examination
The first appointment is mainly about getting your child acclimated to the environment. However, it is also a chance for the dentist to take a look at their teeth.
At the appointment, the dentist will examine all of the teeth that have grown in. They will also check for signs of decay and check their bite. Sometimes the dentist will be able to identify issues with your child’s gums, oral tissue, and jaw.
Depending on the condition of your child’s mouth, they may or may not get a cleaning. If there is a need for it, the hygienist will clean their teeth and use fluoride.
You should visit this website if your child needs a reliable dental surgeon for more serious issues. After the examination, the dentist will be able to provide more information on how you can properly care for their teeth.
What Should Be Discussed?
Many things need to be discussed during your child’s first visit to the dentist.
Without help from the dentist, all of this information can quickly become overwhelming for parents. So what should you expect them to discuss with you?
One of the most important topics at the appointment will be about having good hygiene habits. Helping your child, and eventually teaching them, how to brush, floss, and rinse their teeth daily is the most important.
Proper tooth care can help prevent gum decay and cavities that form on baby teeth. There is a good chance that you will also speak with the dentist about fluoride treatments to help keep their pearly whites, white.
If your child has a habit of sucking on their lip or thumb you should bring it up to the dentist. These problems, along with tongue thrusting, can cause damage to the mouth over time and cause pain.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your child’s dental health doctor about teething questions and proper nutrition.
Before you grab your child and leave the dentist’s appointment, it is recommended that you schedule their next check-up.
Scheduling their next appointment can help keep you on schedule and avoid them from going too long without a check-up and cleaning. Most dentist offices suggest that you bring your kids in twice a year to be checked, plus it will help familiarize them with the office!
While your child’s teeth are being examined, you may also have to fill out official paperwork. Supplying the dentist with your child’s medical and health information can help them give proper treatments in the future.
If you have a special needs child, you may want to look into pediatric dentists. Pediatric dentists have two more years of experience after dental school. This experience helps them focus on child behavior at the dentist and helps make them more comfortable.
Paving the Future
The first dentist appointment is important for your child’s health and development in the future. It paves the way for them and teaches them proper habits.
As your child grows up, you will have to teach them how to clean their teeth to avoid cavities. Even after they learn how to brush their teeth, you should still monitor them doing so.
After a couple of years of taking your child to the dentist, they will end up doing x-rays. Children typically have their first dental x-rays around ages five to six, though there is not a specific age for them to get this done.
Around age six, your child should begin developing their adult teeth.
A Smile as Bright as Their Future
Taking your child to their first dental health appointment is a major step in development.
The first dentist appointment is used to pave the way for a healthy future. The dentist will speak to you about good hygiene habits and how you can help prevent cavities.
Don’t be afraid to have your child help when you brush their teeth. The younger that they realize dental hygiene is important, the brighter their smile and future can be!
Be sure to check out our blog for more articles on how to prepare for doctor appointments with your child!