You may be surprised that your child can make his or her first dental visit by the age of one, or six months from whenever his or her first teeth start to come in.
What to Expect
Your child’s first dental visit is usually short and sweet. You can remain with your child during the appointment or wait in the office as the dentist and your child get to know each other more.
During the exam, the dentist will check your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine his or her bite and look for any potential issues with the gums, jaw and oral tissues. Also the dentist or hygienist will clean any teeth and see if fluoride is needed.
Your dentist might discuss with you and your child how to prevent cavities, how thumb sucking or tongue thrusting affects their teeth, teething and anything else you all may have concerns about. Another appointment will be scheduled for six months later to continue building that positive relationship with the dentist and start a habit of good dental health care.
How to Prepare Your Child
If you have a fear of the dentist, don’t pass it on to your children. The younger your children see the dentist, the more likely they will grow up not having any negative feelings about the dentist and most likely will end up enjoying their visits.
To prepare your child for their first visit, it’s helpful to read books with your child such as “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist” by Stan Berenstain or “What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist” by Heidi Murkoff. Inviting them go with you to your dentist appointments can help them get used to the dentist’s office as well.