A Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

A Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

Your child’s introduction to oral care should actually begin soon after birth. By gently cleaning a baby’s gums after feeding with a soft, damp washcloth, parents can get the child accustomed to oral hygiene as an important, everyday routine.

Your child’s first dental visit is as important as those first words or first steps; it’s a social and developmental milestone. By starting dental visits at an early age, you will help you child build a lifetime of good dental habits.

A child’s introduction to professional dental care should take place by the child’s first birthday. The earlier you begin, the better chance there is to prevent problems.

During the first dental visit, your child’s mouth, teeth and gums will be examined for any signs of tooth decay or other problems. X-rays may be taken to see whether facial bones and teeth are developing properly and to find any hidden decay. The teeth may be cleaned, and any adverse habits such as thumb-sucking can be evaluated. Also you can be taught to effectively clean your child’s teeth at home.

Your child’s fluoride needs will also be evaluated. If you don’t live in a fluoridated water community, fluoride drops or tablets might be prescribed, or an application of fluoride gel recommended.

A good time to schedule your child’s first dental visits is in the morning when he or she is rested and more cooperative. Morning appointments also don’t conflict with mealtime or naps.

If your child enjoys the first dental visit, future visits will be anticipated rather than feared. These early experiences will influence your child’s attitude toward dental care, and can help start him or her on the path to a lifetime of good dental health.

Before the First Dental Visit

Here are some important tips for your child’s first dental visit:

Don’t:

  • Bribe your child into going to the dentist
  • Use the dental visit as a punishment
  • Let the child know that you feel any anxiety about going to the dentist
  • let anyone tell your child scary stories about dental visits

Do:

  • Talk about the upcoming appointment with your child in a positive, matter-of-fact way
  • Try to make dental visits enjoyable for your child
  • Set a good example by caring for your teeth
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Star Dental Institute
2620 Tenderfoot Hill St #210
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
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