It’s extremely important as a parent to pass along good oral hygiene practices to your children. Instilling these practices will teach your child to adopt good oral hygiene techniques and lead to healthy gums and teeth as they age.
Many parent’s ask when they should bring their child to the dentist for their first appointment. This depends on the child. According to the AAPD, you should schedule your child’s first dental appointment up to 6 months after their first tooth erupts, or at their first birthday, whichever occurs first.
The reason being, dentists can detect many health concerns from an oral examination. During the oral exam, the dentist may be able to find baby bottle tooth decay, signs of teething, and get a closer look into the infant feeding practices and finger-sucking/pacifier habits your child has adapted.
Tips to Introduce Your Child to the Dentist
Your child’s first dental visit can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be! Prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist by putting a positive spin on the act of seeing the dentist. Here are some tips on how you can introduce your child to the dentist and make their first appointment NBD:
Take your child on a tour to get them familiar with the unfamiliar space. Bring them through each of the rooms and other spaces they could have to go during their appointment. Ask if you can have your child meet the dentist and dental assistants prior to their scheduled appointment. If your dentist’s office has toys or games for kids, let them play with them.
Be Their Cheerleader
As their parent, you are their biggest cheerleader in life. Cheering them on throughout their dentist appointment will let them know they’re doing a great job and being very brave. Being supportive can do wonders for how they view the dentist in the future. Don’t forget, dentists have dealt with many kids before. They have experience with kids who sit there and open wide and they have experience with kids who kick and scream the entire time.
Let Them Know What to Expect at the Dentist
Talking your child through the process of going to the dentist in a positive way will help them understand what to expect during their first appointment. Try playing dentist with your child and their stuffed animals will allow them to roleplay how the appointment will go and boost their confidence.
Books & TV Shows
Books and TV shows that show their favorite characters going to the dentist will help them understand that going to the dentist is truly NBD! Check out the books and TV shows below that can help prepare them:
-A Trip to the Dentist by Penny Smith
-Curious George Visits the Dentist by H. A. Rey
-The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
-At the Dentist by Mari Schuh
-Arthur: “Arthur’s Tooth”
-The Berenstain Bears: ”The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist”
-Peppa Pig: “The Dentist”
-Paw Patrol: “Pups Save a Toof!”
Reinforcement following their appointment
Positive reinforcement following dentist appointments can make your child look forward to them! The dentist may be scary, but the ice cream treat they get later that day-they’ll totally look forward to!
Looking For a Local Fairfield Dentist?
Are you searching for a general dentist in Fairfield, CT? If so, Revitalizing Smiles offers the services you are looking for. In addition to providing regular checkups and cleanings, we also provide all the general dentistry services you need. We can provide dentistry services to every member of your family, regardless of whether they are one year old or 100. Our goal is to be your one-stop dental office for your whole family.
If you liked this Revitalizing Smiles blog, you might also like:
–3 Reasons Why You Should See The Dentist During Pregnancy
–Baby Teething Comfort Tips