Your child’s first dental visit is an important milestone.
Children begin forming their opinions of the dentist at an early age. If you encourage good oral health habits and schedule regular appointments for your children with a dentist they trust, they will be more likely to continue taking care of their teeth in adulthood.
Take a look at how you can make your child’s first dental visit fun, exciting and positive.
Practice at Home
From an early age, help your children practice brushing their teeth. They have watched you and any older siblings brush their teeth from the time they were a baby, so now it’s time for them to try.
Allow them to pick out a child-size toothbrush they like and teach them to start brushing in the morning and at night before bed. They will grow used to the feel of the toothbrush and they will learn early on that taking care of their teeth is important.
Choose a Qualified Dentist
Don’t settle for just any dentist. Find a dental practice that has years of experience with young patients. The dentist you choose should pay close attention to your child’s oral health and be able to provide personalized suggestions for at-home care.
When you are comfortable with the dentist you choose, your child will be as well.
Schedule the First Appointment
The American Dental Association recommends that children see the dentist within six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. Why so soon? It’s best to schedule a child’s first dental visit before any major problems can develop.
The dental team can offer suggestions on diet choices and specific products that will help limit decay.
Time it Right
Schedule your child’s first dental visit for a time of day when they are happiest and most alert. For many children, this is the morning, before they are exhausted by activities. If possible, try to fill out paperwork ahead of time and arrange for child care for any other children so you can be fully focused on your child throughout the visit.
Many adults have their own personal feelings of anxiety when it comes to dental care. Stay aware of this and try not to project your own fears onto your children. If you maintain a positive outlook, your children will be more likely to enjoy their experience and look forward to their next visit.
Plan a Fun Activity for Afterward
Your child’s first experience will set the stage for many more successful visits when you associate going to the dentist with out-of-the-ordinary fun activities. Whether this includes a visit to the ice cream parlor or the playground, follow up the appointment with an activity your child loves.
You can trust Oak Hills Dentistry to provide a warm, friendly environment — perfect for your child’s first dental visit.