Child’s First Dental VisitBy Dr. Rachel Schick
Major Child Milestone!
As most of us remember, going to the dentist for the first time can be extremely exciting, but also scary. Many children feel grown up and are excited about the stickers, toothbrushes, and “cool” stuff they receive, but many also fear the tools that go into their mouths or stories they have heard. Since maintaining good oral health is crucial, your child will most likely see a dentist for the rest of their life; therefore, a child’s first dental visit can be life changing. It is important that both you and your child are at ease and well prepared before your child’s first dental appointment.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all encourage establishing a “dental home” for your child by the time they turn one. The major Associations, as well our team of dentists, believe that children who have a dental home are more likely to receive proper oral healthcare.
It is not hard to make your child’s first visit to the dentist pleasant and positive. Depending on your child’s age, you should inform them of the upcoming visit and tell them that our friendly dentists and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. As a general rule of thumb, the less you say concerning the visit, the better. Because children often have anxiety about their first appointment, it is best to avoid words such as needle, drill, pull, or pain. These words might contribute to unnecessary fear for your child. We make a habit of using carefully chosen words that describe what will happen, but are pleasing and non-frightening to the child.
Typically, at your child’s first appointment, our dentists will discuss with you and your child the correct ways to care for a young mouth, appropriate use of fluoride, oral habits, oral and facial accident and trauma prevention, developmental milestones, and healthy diet. Equipped with the correct information and preparation, a child’s first dental visit can be very fun and educational—an experience to look forward to!
If you need advice or assistance, call us today at (678) 582-8099. We are eager to help!