One question that we often hear from new parents is, “When should I schedule my child’s first dentist appointment?” Many parents are surprised by the answer. According to the American Dental Association, your child’s first dentist visit should should be scheduled shortly after the arrival of their first tooth and no later than their first birthday.
Why your child’s first dentist appointment is important
This recommendation is often surprising to parents. However, in light of recent studies that reveal an increase in cavities among young children, getting an early start on cavity prevention is essential. Your child’s first dentist appointment not only allows your dentist to assess your child’s risk factors for cavities, but also gives you the opportunity to learn about cavity prevention in early childhood.
What to expect at the appointment
Typically, a child’s first visit to the dentist is quick and involves minimal treatment. The dentist will examine your child’s teeth for decay, evaluate their bite, and make sure there are no issues with the oral tissue, jaw, or gums.
Aside from evaluating your child’s overall oral health, the first dentist appointment is also an important chance for parents to learn more about the importance of dental health for children. Some of the topics typically discussed at a first dentist appointment include using fluoride, thumb sucking, teething and developmental milestones, dental care for toddlers, accident prevention, and the important of diet for good dental health.
How to prepare for your child’s first dentist appointment
It is important for both parents and children to be well prepared for their child’s first dentist appointment. To help your child prepare, we suggest talking to them about what to expect, which will give them more confidence about their first experience at the dentist. We also recommend letting your child watch online videos and read books about visiting the dentist. One fun way for your child to prepare is to let them “practice” their first dental visit by playing dentist at home.
As a parent, you should prepare for your child’s first dentist appointment by gathering any information that you will need to fill out the initial office paperwork. You can even request the forms in advance to speed up the process. You should also come up with a list of any important questions that you may have about your child’s oral health. This could include questions about thumb sucking, pacifier use, how often to brush, and preventing dental injuries.
Looking for a pediatric dentistry in Chattanooga?
Located in Chattanooga, our pediatric dentist specializes in making visits to the dentist a fun and positive experience for the entire family. Our Chattanooga pediatric dentistry team has years of experience walking parents and children through their first trip to the dentist. Our pediatric dentistry serves Signal Mountain, Hixson, Apison, Rossville, Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe, Ooltewah, Collegedale, and Graysville. Contact our friendly staff today to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment!