Dealing with all of the medical worries that come with having a baby, dental health can easily be forgotten. However, a more common bit of advice given by pediatricians is “first dentist visit by first birthday.” Many new parents don’t expect to have to plan a dentist appointment so early, but more and more studies are showing children getting cavities before they get to preschool. A recent study showed more than 25 percent of children in the United States have at least one cavity before they reach the age of four.
Your Child's First Dentist Visit
First of all, you don’t want to take your child to your own dentist unless a good deal of their practice is with children. There are many dentists who specialize in pediatric dentistry and are accredited for that purpose. Once you’ve found a pediatric dentist you think you like, take a tour of the office with your child. Make sure the staff seems comfortable around children and get you and your child used to the kinds of surroundings in a dentist’s office. This will help you see if the practice is right for you, and also help make both you and your child feel more familiar with the environment.
Be prepared to provide your newly-chosen pediatric dentist with all the information they need to deal with your child. Make sure they know of any medication or conditions your child has, or if they have habits like sucking on their thumb or pacifier.
When getting ready for your first visit, talk to your child about where you are going and what you are going to do. Sometimes even talking to your child about it several days in a row as if it is something exciting and important can engender a feeling of comfort and expectation and make the trip feel more fun.
Be a help to your dentist during the visit, and try to follow their lead. After all, they aren’t just an expert in dealing with children’s dental needs, but probably get to work with a lot of kids and know what works best with children of different temperaments. And remember, if you seem nervous, your child may pick up on that and become nervous themselves.
Remember after the cleaning, polishing, and probably some fun instruction from the dentist to your child on how to clean their teeth, there will be a lot of information for you, too. It’s good to get in the habit of using the same terms and descriptions the dentist uses when speaking to your child so you, your child and the dentist are all speaking the same language.
Make an Appointment!
The Deep River Family & Cosmetic Dentistry team knows that taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be uncomfortable for both you, but you won’t find better care in the High Point, NC area. If you would like more information about our family dentistry experience do not hesitate to make an appointment today!