With a little planning, your child’s first dental visit should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your toddler. A child’s first visit to the dentist should occur when the first baby teeth appear, or by their first birthday, as recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The best way to ensure your child has a positive first experience is to begin playing dentist with your child several weeks before your child’s visit. Teach your child that the dentist helps them take good care of their teeth. As you play dentist, explain that the dentist will count their teeth, tickling them with a tooth brush. Explain that they will see the dentist and hygienist both wearing a mask and gloves in order to protect them from germs and keep them healthy. As you play dentist, have your child lay back in your lap, mimicking the experience in a dental chair. Tell them that the dentist will talk to them and explain everything beforehand.
In addition to playing dentist, another excellent way to introduce the experience of a dental visit is by reading a book such as the Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist. As you prepare your child for their first visit, keep in mind that your child will pick up on how you feel about your own experiences at the dentist. Parental views toward the dentist play a significant role in how children view the dentist.
At Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph, we have started thousands of children off on the right path to a lifetime of good oral health. Our office is modern, clean and child focused. We understand children, and their parents, and are passionate about making the first dental appointment (and everyone after) a positive and enjoyable experience. Our mission is to establish a dental home for your child, an ongoing relationship between our pediatric dentist and your child, allowing care to be delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered way. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call our office, we are always happy to discuss your concerns.