A lifetime of healthy teeth starts with your child’s first visit to the dentist!
It’s an important milestone. And since this first appointment can shape how your child experiences the dentist for years to come, the compassionate team at Dentistry for Children takes great care to make sure your child has a positive experience.
Read on for more information about what you can expect during your child’s first dentist appointment. Then, schedule your little one’s first dental checkup at one of our three convenient locations:
When Should I Take My Child To The Dentist For The First Time?
At Dentistry for Children, we see kids as young as one year old, which is around the time you should take your child to the dentist for the first time.
By the time your baby is one year old, he or she probably has several teeth. And as soon as a child has teeth, it’s possible for those teeth to develop cavities.
Even though your little one might not see the dentist until their first birthday, it’s important that you’re brushing and even flossing their teeth before then. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth erupts around the time your baby is six months old. You’ll want to use a smear of toothpaste roughly the size of a grain of rice. Then, start flossing as soon as your baby has two teeth that touch.
What Will Take Place During My Child’s First Visit?
At Dentistry for Children, we like to refer to a child’s first visit as a “happy visit.” That’s because even more so than completing a full exam and cleaning, we want to make sure your child’s experience is a pleasant one.
We’ll introduce your child to Dr. Rooklidge or one of our other highly skilled dental professionals, and we’ll try to get them familiar with the dental chair and the tools we’ll use to clean their teeth. Then, we’ll proceed with an exam and cleaning as your little one permits! If your child is comfortable with getting x-rays taken, we’ll do that. But if your child is intimidated by the process, that’s OK! We’ll try again next time.
How Will You Make My Child Feel Comfortable?
Your child’s experience at our office begins the moment you walk in. Our practice was designed especially with kids in mind!
Before the appointment, your little one will be able to play in the playhouses set up in our reception area. We even have video game systems to keep siblings occupied.
You and your child will also take comfort in the fact our staff is incredibly kid-friendly! Our doctors have received special training in pediatric dentistry. Not all dentists who work with children are board certified in pediatric dentistry, but Dr. Rooklidge is!
In the event your child is experiencing intense fear or anxiety, we also offer several dental sedation options. Those include:
- Nitrous oxide. Also known as “laughing gas,” your child inhales this sedative through a small mask placed on their nose. It produces a sense of calm or euphoria.
- Oral sedative. We administer oral sedative as a beverage your child drinks ahead of the appointment. It can make patients feel drowsy or groggy.
- IV sedation. This deep form of sedation allows the patient to experience their visit in a dream-like state. This is often used for more involved procedures or for patients who are getting a lot of dental work completed in one sitting.
How Can I Prepare For The Appointment?
Here are some things you can do to make sure your child’s first dentist appointment goes as smoothly as possible.
- When you’re making the appointment, schedule it for a time when your child is likely to be well-rested and in a good mood. Morning appointments tend to be best for young children, so we can schedule an appointment as early as 8 a.m.
- You can download and complete our new patient forms ahead of your appointment to minimize the time you and your child will spend in the office.
- Talk with your child about visiting the dentist. Be positive, and make it fun! You can pretend to be the dentist and have your child practice sitting in a chair and opening their mouth.
- Feed your child a light meal beforehand, and then brush their teeth before the appointment.
And remember: you and your pediatric dentist are a team! You’re both working toward providing your little one with great dental health for years to come.
Schedule an appointment at Dentistry for Children for your little one! Call us at one of our three convenient locations, or use our online form.