Seeing your children grow and experience different milestones can bring joy and excitement to the family. Keep in mind some major milestones can happen before their first birthday, such as their first dental appointment. These require a good amount of early preparation.
Understandably, this can make any parent nervous.
This is why we’ve put together a small guide to help you prepare for your child’s first dental visit, no matter their age. Read on to learn more about the next upcoming milestone.
What Parents Should Prepare For
Preparing yourself is the best way for you to understand what will and can happen during the first visit. Before going to the clinic, discuss some things with your dentist. Pick a dentist that you know can handle the situation well.
A pediatric dentist is the most fitting option for the first dental visit. They specialize in providing dental services to children, which includes checkups and assessments.
Also, consider preparing yourself mentally. Remain honest as you voice out any problems to the dentist. Don’t hesitate to discuss your anxieties when visiting the dentist.
Note that your children have feelings different from yours regarding dentists. You can support your child by staying calm while in the dental room. This shows that there’s nothing to worry about and that you’re right there in case they panic or want to leave.
What to Prepare Your Children For
With children, preparation depends on their age. Older children are easier to coax since you can explain the process and necessity of visiting a dentist. This isn’t the case for infants and young toddlers.
For their schedule, aim for morning appointments. This works well for younger children as you would have them alert and fresh during the visit. It also prevents kids from building anxiety or fear as the day lingers on.
For a pre-schooler or an older child, a way to prepare them is to give them a general idea of what to expect on the visit. This also includes the importance of the dental visit and give insight. Once they understand why they need to do this, there’s a better chance they’ll remain calm throughout the session.
With younger children, though, it’s better that you accompany them in the room. As mentioned above, this shows them that there’s nothing to worry about. Maintaining physical contact with them through the procedure is also a good way to calm them down.
One way you can look into is to teach them mindfulness. This can help them learn how to calm down while in places like a dental clinic or a doctor’s office.
What the Dentist Should Prepare For
You also need to prepare the dentist for the visit. In this case, prepare details about the child’s complete health history. For a first visit, this is an essential pointer as it helps the dentist with the checkup and to give them a heads-up.
Before setting an appointment, consider taking precautions such as a pre-appointment assessment. This also prepares the clinic to ensure safety for both parties.
Information You Should Take Notes On
During the visit, expect to receive information from the dentist. These pertain to many things for your child’s dental health. They’ll update you about the current oral health of your child and how to address any complications.
We mentioned earlier that the first visit should be before the child’s first birthday. The earliest would be once they started growing their first tooth. The information that the pediatric dentist provides would prove instrumental in caring for your child’s oral health.
Make sure to take note of the following:
- Baby bottle tooth decay
- Mouth cleaning
- Infant feeding practices
- Pacifier habits
- Finger-sucking habits
These details can help you at home after the dental visit. These can act as helpful guidelines when caring for their teeth.
Expectations on the First Visit
As mentioned above, helping your children know what to expect on their first trip to the dentist helps calm them down. Unless you’re certain that your child needs to have procedures done right away, it’s best to let them know about dental checkups ahead of time.
Let them know that the dentist will evaluate their oral hygiene during the first visit. Tell them that they should also expect a lesson on oral hygiene on the first trip. A great way to prepare them for this is by giving them books or showing cartoons that showcase children visiting the dentist for a check-up.
Seeing similar kids going through the same things opens up the topic for them. This way, they can ask you questions that you can answer in a manner that gets them excited for their first visit.
By giving them these expectations, they’re more likely to feel more confident when going into the dentist’s office.
Subsequent Visits After the First
There will be visits after the first one. Children also need to visit the dentist every six months, the same way that adults would. Some dentists would also schedule the visits more often, bringing it to three months instead.
After the first visit, your child will be more comfortable with the next one. Now that they know how it is in the dentist’s office, they’ll have no problem with the next visit. By then, you’ll have no need to worry about how they’ll react.
Set the First Dental Appointment Today
With expectations set on the first dental appointment, you can help your child prepare for this first-time visit. Go there with them and take that moment together. This also shows how important it is for children to care for their teeth this early.
You can get started with that visit by signing up today. We provide dental services to help preserve your child’s smile, setting the foundation for their dental health in the future. You can contact us to set an appointment for your child’s dental needs.