Prepare your child for their first visit to the dentist

When it comes to dental care for your children, it’s imperative that you treat it as if it’s the same thing as a trip to the pediatrician. This may sound extreme, but when it comes to oral health, it’s just as important, if not more important than a regular checkup at the doctors. Unfortunately, parents naturally tend to feel less confident when it comes to starting dental care for their children, and are usually wary on how they should go about doing so.


Cartoon with check mark

  • be aware
  • prepare your child
  • ask about fluoride treatments for your child
  • take advice seriously
  • schedule your appointment on a slow day

Cartoon with x mark

  • forget about the whole family
  • wait
  • schedule too far out
  • go unprepared
  • settle

[publishpress_authors_data]'s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do be aware

Regular dental appointments during childhood can help uncover and stop the spread of tooth decay, which can advance quickly in small children whose teeth are more permeable and susceptible to cavity causing bacteria. Even if your child does follow his or her brushing regimen, it’s important to have their teeth cleaned more thoroughly.

Do prepare your child

When children are first introduced to going to the dentist, they may become nervous at the sight of large metal tools and the unfamiliar environment. Becoming accustomed to visiting the dentist early in childhood can also eliminate office anxiety as your child adjusts to the notion of regularly scheduled visits. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to bring a book or small toy along to ease anxiety in the waiting room.

Do ask about fluoride treatments for your child

A trip to the dentist doesn’t end with a simple cleaning. Dental sealants and topical fluoride can be useful in further protecting your child’s teeth. Plastic sealants provide an extra layer of protection for back teeth by covering the small grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth, and topical fluoride provides an additional barrier to decay. These procedures are pain free, and can prevent more invasive procedures in the future.

Do take advice seriously

When you go to the dentist with your child, the dentist may speak to you after about any issues or concerns. It’s important to take these seriously, because a dentist may see things that you cannot. The dentist can also explain why good oral hygiene is important to your children and make the transition from primary teeth care to adult teeth care easier.

Do schedule your appointment on a slow day

Try to avoid scheduling your child’s dentist appointment on a day where there are a million things on your to do list. Getting to the appointment and being prepared is enough stress as it is, and if you are scheduling it in the middle of a jam packed day, you and your child are more likely to be off time or feel rushed during your appointment.

[publishpress_authors_data]'s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not forget about the whole family

The great thing about a family dentist is that it’s a “one-stop” option for the whole family’s dental needs. It’s never been easier to schedule appointments for your children, whether they are young tots or soon to be teenagers. From pressing concerns to general checkups your entire families needs are met easily with family dental care.

Do not wait

Your child should just visit the dentist when all of their teeth come in right? Wrong. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that parents take a child for an initial dental appointment by his or her first birthday. It’s important to begin practicing good oral hygiene early – even if this just means gently wiping down a baby’s gums after feedings. As your child’s teeth begin to poke out, it’s important to keep them clean after meals and get them comfortable with a proper teeth cleaning routine.

Do not schedule too far out

When you are scheduling your child’s dentist appointment, try to schedule it as soon as possible. That way, if you or your child has a concern, it can be addressed more quickly. If your appointment is two months away, chances are you will forget about your concerns or questions and you will never end up bringing them up in conversation with your dentist.

Do not go unprepared

The best thing you can do before your child’s dentist appointment is to print out any forms and fill them out beforehand. By showing up without the necessary paperwork or medical information, you are delaying the appointment and causing more stress than is needed. You can even call the office ahead of time and ask if there is anything you can do to make the appointment run smoother.

Do not settle

When it comes to choosing your dentist, it’s okay to be picky. When it comes to the future of your child’s smile, you deserve to have the best care possible. If something seems off about the office or care of your dentist, don’t be afraid to check out other dental offices that may suit your needs better. You and your child should feel comfortable talking to your dentist about your concerns.


If you have a small child, make an appointment today for an initial dental screening. Healthy dental habits practiced early on are more likely to see lifelong success.

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