WHEN SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL APPOINTMENT?
As a new parent, few things light up your world like your child’s smile. Even as an infant, their gummy smile and sparkling eyes are a combination that makes your heart flutter. To ensure that their gums and teeth stay in pristine condition from their first tooth to their back molars, they must visit the dentist bi-yearly for a routine exam and professional cleaning. But when should you schedule their first visit? A kid’s dentist is here to share the answer!
So, When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Appointment?
To ensure your child’s oral health is in pristine condition, dentists recommend scheduling their first visit when they celebrate their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth emerging. That way, your pediatric dentist can examine their gums and address any warning signs (like tooth decay). Since it is of the utmost importance that your child’s oral health is monitored frequently, you will begin their bi-yearly visits after their first appointment.
How Should I Prepare for Their First Visit?
Since children can often experience fear and anxiety around new places and people, it is important to do your best to prepare them for their first appointment. When they are too young to understand the concept, consider bringing distractions, like toys and coloring books. Once they are a bit older, you can start introducing the idea of going to the dentist through books or games, which can make learning about the experience more fun. Plus, you can speak to your dental team about filling out forms and paperwork ahead of time, which can allow you to completely focus on your child during their visit.
3 Tips for a Great Visit
Did you know that roughly 48% of adults in the U.S. experience some level of anxiety around going to the dentist? Unfortunately, this dental phobia often develops from bad experiences as a child, which can negatively impact their oral health growing up. To prevent this from happening to your little one, try using the below three tips:
- Don’t schedule the appointment during their usual nap time.
- Let your child take a fun tour of their dentist’s office to allow them to slowly acclimate to the environment.
- Make sure they are fed and well-rested before the appointment to increase the likelihood of them being cooperative.
From their primary teeth to their permanent set, your child’s smile undergoes many transformations over the years. To ensure their oral health is in tip-top shape throughout the process, make sure to start their visits at an early age!
About the Author
After earning her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, Dr. Karrie Lee obtained her dental doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. Today, she uses her nearly 10 years of experience to create a fun, comfortable atmosphere to care for your child’s teeth. In fact, she even has some silly “knock-knock” jokes and a rendition of “Let it Go” that always gets a laugh! If you would like to schedule a visit with Dr. Lee and her team, please contact her today.