Did you know it is recommended that children should have their first dental visit by the age of 1 or as soon as their first tooth appears? Baby teeth usually start to erupt around 4 months at the earliest, and it’s important to check that their oral development is on the right track for healthy gums and teeth.
Not only this, but building a dentist-patient relationship early can create a good lasting impression, making future visits a lot more enjoyable.
Going to the dentist for the first time can be both nervous and exciting, especially for new parents. To help, we’ve put together some useful information in this article on how to prepare your child for their first dental visit.
What to expect
Their first dental visit is mainly an opportunity for your dentist and the clinic staff to get to know your child and introduce them to the world of dentistry and oral hygiene.
During the appointment, your dentist will assess the current status of their teeth, looking for signs of decay or discomfort, as well as discussing diet and any potential problems regarding their gums or jaw. If necessary, this may involve gentle cleaning at the end and will only take a couple of minutes.
It’s also a great opportunity to learn about the correct brushing techniques and advice on teething, or what kind of toothpaste to use for young children.
Choose an early appointment
First piece of advice is choosing an early appointment. This is because younger children are likely to be more responsive in the mornings, compared to the afternoon. It gives parents a chance to talk about the dentist in a positive way and help reassure them the night before.
Make dentistry fun
At Ten Dental + Facial, we like to make our clinics feel fun and welcoming to our younger clients. Parents can help by making dentistry fun with dental themed activities such as role play, where children can pretend to be a dentist and examine their parents teeth with a mirror.
Picture books are another great tool for your child to interact with, using images and child-friendly language to explain what happens when going to the dentist or brushing their teeth.
It’s also beneficial to prepare your child for their first dental visit by bringing a cuddly toy to make them feel even more comfortable and homely in a different environment.
Book a paediatric dentist
Our paediatricians specialise in the management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, offering expert diagnostic and treatment services for all aspects of oral health for children and young adults, including NHS and private orthodontics and treatment for hypodontia.