Your child’s first visit
Your child’s first visit to our dental office should be around his/her first birthday, but could be as early as you’d like (as soon as the first tooth erupts or even sooner). As a parent, there are many things you can do to prepare your child for his or her first dental visit and start your child on long-term dental health.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts
- Be positive. There have been many improvements in dentistry that makes it much more pleasant than when you were younger.
- If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, try not to share it with your children. Don’t share any previous bad experiences.
- Have a discussion with us about oral health care for your child. Talk to your kids about good oral hygiene. Explain that going to the dentist is something we do for our overall health.
- Set a good example by brushing and flossing with your kids. Let them brush and floss your teeth and you brush and floss theirs. Make it fun.
- Familiarize your child with our dental office. Consider taking them along when you or a sibling has a dental appointment.
- Have a tour of our dental office by coming in for a casual, friendly, get acquainted visit and checkup.
- Make an appointment for a visual check of your child’s teeth.
- You can also checkout books at the library to help teach your kids about the importance of their dental help.
- If there are any concerns, let us know ahead of time so we can make proper arrangements for a happy dental visit for your child.
- Wait for an emergency for the first visit.
- Over prepare your children for dental visits. Don’t make the dental visit a big deal. Keep it simple. Mention that they will have pictures of their teeth taken, their teeth counted cleaned, and a surprise prize at the end of the visit. Don’t Use phrases like “It won’t hurt much” or “It won’t be too bad.” Such phrases do not soothe; they only create anxiety.
- The dental staff is trained to make your child comfortable. We will use special words, pictures, and show and tell to explain procedures.
- If it is a struggle to get your kids to brush and floss, please don’t threaten them about “getting a shot” or needing to have a tooth pulled. Instead, teach them why a healthy mouth is important to their overall health. Tell them they need teeth to chew food which provides the rest of their body with the nutrition they need.
Some tidbits about your child’s dental care:
- Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. You should begin brushing and flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in.
- Let your child brush with your supervision until he or she can brush alone-usually around age seven.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and buy a new child-size toothbrush every few months.
- When your child’s permanent molars come in, have the dentist apply sealants to protect the biting surfaces from decay.
- Allow your child to chew only sugarless gum and avoid lollipops and other sticky candy.
- If your child plays contact sports, make sure he or she wears a mouth guard.