What should I expect at my child’s first dental appointment?

Some parents may have apprehension about their children’s first visit to the dentist, but there’s no need for concern about the initial experience with a pediatric dentist. Your son or daughter should not experience any discomfort at that first appointment.

What takes place may depend on the child’s age at the time of the appointment. Your child should first visit a children’s dentist by his or her first birthday. With a year-old patient, the dentist will thoroughly examine the teeth, looking for any signs of potential trouble. The dentist may ask you to hold your child in your lap, and then the dentist would get down to the patient’s eye level. This also gives the parent a bird’s eye view of the exam. 

A good oral hygiene routine is tremendously important for young children, who may face an increased risk of developing cavities.

If stains are on the teeth, the dentist or hygienist may clean those off, although this will not cause any discomfort.

This first visit also gives a parent the opportunity to discuss a plan for home oral care with the children’s dentist. A good oral hygiene routine is tremendously important for young children, who may face an increased risk of developing cavities. The dentist can give you instruction on how to care for your child’s mouth and the erupting teeth, if you feel that this would be beneficial.

The dentist can also review developmental milestones with you so that you know what to expect and have an idea of what concerns to bring up to the dentist at a later visit. The dentist may recommend appointments for your child at six-month intervals, just like mom and dad do, or more frequently if there are any specifically worrisome signs or symptoms.

Your child’s first dental appointment is nothing to fear. In fact, it can go a long way toward establishing a good relationship with a pediatric dentist that will endure for years. If you have a child older than a year old who has not yet seen a dentist, call our skilled and dedicated dental team to schedule the initial evaluation today.