Posted by Dr. William Yoo
By bringing your child to the dentist regularly from an early age, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of excellent oral health. The earlier you bring your child to the dentist the better, as they’ll quickly get used to it and realize there’s nothing to be frightened of.
The general rule is that your child should first visit the dentist six months after their first tooth appears, though this should be no later than their first birthday. When looking for a dentist that specializes in children’s dental services, you may want to choose a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists will have undergone extensive additional training in dental care for children, including education in children’s growth and development, and their behaviour. While most regular dentists offer children’s dental services as well, a pediatric dentist may be a good choice if your child has any behavioural or health issues, or other special needs.
Your child’s first dental visit will probably be quite short, and more of a chance for them to get used to being at the dentist than for any dental treatment! You will probably be able to sit in the chair and hold your child during this first treatment, which will help them feel more comfortable.
Here are some helpful ways to prepare your child for their first dental visit:
Time your visit well. When booking your appointment, you should choose a time when you know your child is likely to be well-rested, in order to prevent any crankiness!
Keep it positive. When telling your child about the dentist, or describing what kind of dental services they’ll get, use language that is positive and fun while avoiding anything negative. For example, tell your child that the dentist will use special tools to keep their teeth nice and healthy!
Talk to them. Parents find that it helps when they share with their child that they also go to the dentist, and tell them positive stories about the dentist.
Your child’s dentist will also do their best to ensure your child has a positive first experience. Usually, children’s dentists incorporate toys and picture books to make treatment more fun for children. At then end of their appointment, your child may receive a prize, a sticker, or a new toothbrush. These little rewards are great incentive for your child to look forward to going to the dentist!
If you have any questions or concerns about children’s dental services, please contact us today!