A Guide to Your Child's First Dental Visit
If you’re taking your child for their first visit to the dentist, you may be a little anxious about what to expect, as well as how to prepare your child for their very first appointment.
To help ease your concerns and ensure both you and your child are ready for this important oral health milestone, we’ve put together a quick guide to your child’s first dental visit, so you can attend their appointment with confidence.
At what age should I take my child for their first dental appointment?
It’s recommended to take your child to the dentist soon after their first birthday.
Bringing them to see the dentist at this stage will get them used to the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice from a young age, enable early detection of oral health conditions such as tooth decay, and allow you to obtain advice from dental staff on areas such as toothbrushing and healthy eating habits.
How can I prepare my child for their first trip to the dentist?
As a visit to the dentist will be a new experience, it’s normal for children to feel apprehensive or be unwilling to participate.
Here are some of the ways you can help make your child feel comfortable about their first dental appointment:
- Take your child to their siblings’ dental visits to get them used to the practice environment
- If talking to slightly older children, avoid using scary words such as ‘drill’ or ‘needle’ - your National Dental Care Group practitioner will use special words to minimise concern
- Focus on the positive aspects of visiting the dentist, such as counting teeth or learning about the body
- Aim to make the appointment in the morning so your child isn’t overly tired
- Try to arrive for the appointment slightly early so your child can get used to the surroundings
What will happen at my child’s first dental visit?
During your child’s initial dental appointment, the dentist will examine their face and jaw for any signs of alignment issues. They’ll then assess your child’s tooth development and check that any teeth that have come through (erupted) are in good condition.
You can also talk with your dentist about how to care for your children’s teeth at their particular stage of development.
What else should I do for my child’s first dentist appointment?
If your child has any medical conditions or past experiences which may affect their behaviour or ability to cope, be sure to inform dental staff prior to the appointment. This will enable the team to take an approach that’s right for your child and keeps them comfortable.
During the appointment, allow the dentist to capture your child’s full attention rather than distracting them - the dentist will be experienced in dealing with young children and knows how to ensure the check-up runs as smoothly as possible.
If it’s time for your child’s first dental visit, make your appointment with National Dental Care Group today - you can book an appointment online now.