Getting Ready for Your Child's Very First Visit to the Dentist

When it comes to children's dentistry, the general consensus is that your child should have their first appointment by the age of one, or six months after their first tooth emerges from their gums. However, you shouldn't hesitate to schedule an appointment even earlier if you're at all concerned about any aspect of your child's dental development. But what is this first appointment going to be like?

A Sense of Calm

It's impossible to explain the process (and the importance of the dentist) to such a young child. If anything, you should downplay the upcoming appointment in order to maintain as much of a sense of calm as you can. You shouldn't be anxious about it yourself. For starters, there's nothing to be anxious about, and even the youngest of children can pick up on these emotional cues and begin to feel worried themselves.

Earlier in the Day

The best time for the appointment is earlier in the day, when your child is at their most alert and responsive. Make sure that naps and meal times are factored into your appointment time so that any disruption to your child's schedule is kept to an absolute minimum.

A Brief Appointment

The appointment itself should be relatively brief, since there aren't many teeth to actually inspect. In many respects, these early visits are simply to allow your dentist to gauge your child's dental development, which can allow them to anticipate any potential issues that your child might face as their teeth continue to emerge. 

Potential Issues

Even though your child has not had teeth for very long, these new baby teeth can still encounter some problems due to teething or even early decay due to the use of a baby bottle. As such, your dentist might recommend a mild cleaning and scraping, even this early. It's rare with such a young child, but dental x-rays might also be required, as this is a simple, fairly non-invasive means of diagnosing other issues.

Emotional Support

Your child might find the whole appointment to be fairly invasive, which is perfectly understandable. Your child is in an unfamiliar environment where masked strangers are placing their latex-clad fingers inside their mouth. You should remain in the room for the appointment to offer your child emotional support. It can be helpful to bring your child's favourite toy to calm and distract them.

Pulling off your child's first dental appointment without a hitch requires a certain degree of preparation, but it's in your child's best interests that they begin a happy relationship with the world of dentistry. Contact a company like the Geelong Dental Group to learn more.