Dental fear and anxiety usually begin during childhood and tend to worsen with time if not addressed early. This is why your child’s first dental visit is so important.
It paves the way for how your child will feel towards dentist appointments all throughout their life. Continue reading to learn why our pediatric dentists recommend your child come in as soon as they get their first tooth.
We’ll also give you our tips for how to prepare your child for their.
Why Your Child’s First Dental Visit Is Important
Tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness, so scheduling your child’s first dentist visit early is crucial for preventing cavities. Seeing the dentist early on in life will also help your child get used to the idea of taking care of their teeth and gums. Our pediatric dentists want to help your child build a strong foundation for oral health. They do this by talking to your child about their oral health in a way they understand. Our entire team also goes above and beyond to make sure your child always feels comfortable and safe.
When Should I Take My Baby to the Dentist?
As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in – around age one –is typically the time you should start taking them to a pediatric dentist. If you decide to put off their appointment, it is likely that their oral health will suffer. In fact, 25% of children have at least one cavity by the time they turn four. Taking your child to their first dentist appointment at an early age will create good habits. It’ll also ensure they have healthy teeth and gums so they can chew and speak comfortably.
How Do I Prepare My Child For Their First Dentist Visit?
You want to make sure your child feels as comfortable and safe as possible. The best way to do this is to remain calm yourself and avoid using any words that may frighten your child. It’s important that you set an example for your child and act relaxed and even excited about going to the dentist. They will pick up on your positive outlook of the dentist and probably react similarly.
Be sure to choose a pediatric dentist with at least two years of specialized training for treating children. Going to a dentist that isn’t good with kids can end poorly and result in your child developing a negative connotation with the dentist. It’s best to get to know your child’s dentist beforehand to get a feel for whether or not they would be a good fit for you and your child.
What Happens at a Child’s First Dentist Appointment?
The first appointment shouldn’t be too elaborate. Rather the focus is more on introducing your child to what the dentist is all about. One of our pediatric dentists will discuss the importance of oral hygiene to your child in hopes of creating good dental habits. If you and the pediatric dentist both feel that your child is comfortable and ready, the dentist will do an oral exam and possibly take x-rays.
Many children fear the dentist because of a bad first visit. The first dental visit will have a huge impact on how your child feels about the dentist, so it’s important to be prepared and take the necessary steps to have a successful first appointment. By following the advice above, you’ll be on your way to having a stress-freewith your child.
[This post has been updated.]