Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment: What to Expect

If your baby’s first tooth just popped up, it is time to start thinking about dental appointments. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the first dental visit be when the first tooth erupts.

This usually happens when the baby is about six months but can happen later. At any rate, plan to visit the dentist before your baby turns one. You can discover more about your child’s first dentist appointment and what to expect.

Scheduling the Appointment

The first step is to find a child-friendly dentist in your area. A pediatric dentist will help ensure that the process goes smoothly. It helps fill out all the necessary forms before getting to the office.

This will help reduce the time you spend waiting in the office. It is a good idea to schedule your baby’s dental appointment at a time when the child will be least fussy. If your baby is fed and well-rested, they are less likely to be cranky.

Preparing for the Appointment

Try to prepare your child so that the dental visit does not come as a surprise. If they are old enough to understand, you can explain what will happen or watch a show about a dental visit. You can make an activity out of inspecting the child’s teeth to get them used to opening their mouth wide.

The child can visualize what the checkup will entail. Prepare for the visit by coming up with a list of questions about your child’s oral health.

Preventing Dental Anxiety

The best way to avoid dental anxiety is by making the visit appear exciting. Talking excitedly to your child about the appointment will help them look forward to the visit. Keep a positive attitude so that your child feels comfortable.

It can help to bring along their favorite toy or stuffed animal. Having an older sibling present can also help reduce anxiety. Most pediatric dentists will offer rewards to their little patients, but you can also have a treat on hand.

During the Appointment

During your child’s first appointment, the child may sit on your lap. If they are a bit older and less wiggly, they can sit in the dental chair. The dentist will check the child’s teeth, gums, and jaw to ensure proper development.

If the child has several teeth, the dentist will look for signs of cavities. The dentist or a dental hygienist will then clean the child’s teeth and gums while showing you how to do it. You will learn how to care for your child’s mouth.

Gaining Useful Information

During the dental appointment, the dentist will answer any questions you may have about your child’s oral health. You can get information on different topics, from the best nutrition for oral health to the use of pacifiers.

The first dental appointment can help set a positive precedent for future appointments. Ensuring that your child enjoys the visit will make it easier to plan subsequent visits. Creating positive lifelong oral hygiene habits early is necessary.

If you have dental anxieties yourself, avoid passing them on to your child.

For more on your child’s first dental appointment and what to expect, visit Colwick Pediatric Dentistry at our office in Cleburne, Texas. You can call (817) 382-3029 today to schedule an appointment.

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