It’s not a secret, first-time parents often have trouble when it comes to their child’s first visit to the dentist. It’s really not uncommon for parents to be unsure about their baby’s first dental visit and about other “firsts” as well. And that’s not something out of the ordinary since every parent wants to make only the right decisions when it comes to their children’s health.
We here at Doral Sedation & Family Dentistry understand this and we want to help you to get started, or at least to make you aware of what will happen at your baby’s first dental visit.
What You Need To Know
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that children should have their first visit to the dentist around or before their first birthday, especially for children who are at risk of early childhood cavities. Generally, the rule of thumb is to give the dentist a visit after the first tooth appears, but definitely no later than the first birthday.
Why is this important?
Cavities can appear right after the baby starts teething and catching anything early on means that your child ‘s smile will be healthy for life if you’re proactive about their dental health from the very beginning. However, cavities aren’t the only thing you will discuss with the dentist. The first dental visit will deal with topics such as:
- The proper use of fluoride
- How to prevent accidents that may damage teeth and face
- The connection between kids oral health and diet
- Finger and Thumb sucking
- Teething and dental development
Usually, the dentist will suggest follow-ups after the initial visit, which mainly means a regular visit every six months.
The Visit Itself
At your child’s first-ever dental visit, you are going to learn about your child’s unique dental needs. Also, the dentist will check for any early dental problems which can be treated accordingly.
A Few Tips
- Be prepared – read up on first dental visits, ask your friends who’s child has already visited the dentist, go online and watch a few educational videos on the subject – the more prepared you are, the better it is.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – make sure that you always know what’s happening. If you don’t really understand what the dentist is doing or talking, don’t be shy, ask away.
- Relax – don’t get nervous. Your child may be upset throughout the visit, but most often than not, infants are pretty accepting when they are being examined by the dentist.
- Make sure to bring only one child to the appointment – this may even sound a bit offensive, however, you need to be able to focus your attention on your child and to be free to talk with the dentist without having to deal with distractions.
- Stock up – if you like, bring your child’s favorite toy with you, blanket or any familiar object with you. You can also pack a snack and an extra diaper if you feel there might be a need for them.
- Make sure the baby is well-rested – if you can, schedule the appointment at a time when your child is rested and the most cooperative. This will make the whole experience smoother and future visits will also be more pleasant.
The best advice we can give you is to don’t worry. In most cases, your child’s first visit to the dentist will go smoothly and the dentist will carefully examine your baby’s teeth and oral area to check if everything’s developing as it should be.
The other thing – don’t postpone your first visit. Why? Since if there are any irregularities, correcting them early on is a lot easier than dealing with them once they’ve gotten more serious.
Still feeling unsure? Feel free to give us a call and we will answer all your questions and will even schedule an appointment for you and your child.