When should I bring my child for the first dental visit?
Children should be seen by their 1st birthday as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
What to expect at the first visit?
We examine your child’s mouth and teeth to ensure everything is developing healthily. This is a great opportunity for parents to ask any questions and learn how to best care for your child’s dental health.
Common topics include:
– Dental development milestone
- How to care for your child’s teeth
– Selecting the right toothbrush and toothpaste
– How to prevent cavities
- Habits e.g pacifiers, thumbsucking
– How to manage dental injuries
We understand that no two children are alike. Likewise, our dental advice is specifically tailored to your child’s needs.
How should i prepare my child for the first visit?
Like many parents, you may be nervous about how your child is going to behave. A first visit can be challenging for young children (just like the first day of school) as there are many unknowns. There may be some tears. Do not be surprised or embarrassed if your child does not cooperate initially. Our goal is to introduce your child to the dentist in a fun and positive manner. We may sing and we may even dance — your child’s smile is our reward!
The first visit is recommended by age one. At this age, the good news is that infants do not need any special preparation! They are mostly happy to be out and being cuddled in their parents’ arms. Here are some tips for older kids.
- Book an appointment time when your child will be well rested and keen to explore.
- Explain what the dentist will do in simple terms. e.g. The dentist is going to count your teeth and check that they are clean and healthy!
- Read child-friendly books about first visits to the dentist or consider bringing them along to observe your own dental visit!
- Avoid nap time or meal times. Hungry and tired kids are often not in the best mood!
- Avoid comments that may induce fear. “Don’t worry, the dentist won’t hurt you” or “ I promise no pain, no injection!” Children tend to focus on the negative words only e.g. “hurt”, “pain” and “injection”.
*This article first appeared on www.drtabithachng.com*