Wonder what the first dental visit will be like for your child? The mystery is about to be revealed! Kept super fun and informative, everyone leaves happy!
One of the most common questions I get asked is when a baby should have her first visit to the dentist. I recommend coming around the baby’s first birthday. Why so young? Just like most things in medicine, things are more simple and less serious if caught early. I do a very simple screening to make sure that there aren’t any early cavities happening. We don’t want to see a child for the first time at a later age and realize that it’s necessary to do the fillings under general anesthesia in the hospital.
The other big thing is speaking with the parents and educating them. It’s important that parents know how to look for changes in the color of their child’s teeth in order to get it checked early if something is found. I go over all the things to do and avoid and look at risk factors for the child getting cavities. Sometimes I find that the parents would also benefit from doing prevention habits for their own mouths in order to help the risk of the child. Cavities are caused by bacteria that are passed from parent to child.
Another great part about starting early is to get the child used to the dental office. It looks scary and unfamiliar if you’ve never been before. It’s especially bad if your first experience at a dental office is when something hurts and needs to be fixed with a complicated (and therefore scary to the child) procedure.
The first visit will be above all a positive one. The child will be asked if he wants to do certain things, like sit in the big chair alone or with a parent. We can show him how the mirror looks and how the toothbrush feels. If we can get a cleaning in, then great! If not, we won’t push it. Crying is to be avoided as much as possible at this first visit. We have the child leaving with a bag full of goodies and a prize from the prize box. The parent also leaves with goodies in the form of educational handouts and a custom toothpaste suggestion.
I’ve seen so many smiles when children leave my office from the first visit, which gives me such a great feeling! My goal is to create a generation of kids who love to go to the dentist because it’s fun!