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Preparing for Your Child's First Trip to the Dentist

Routine dental visits are an important part of your child’s health and can set the stage for positive dental health and hygiene throughout their lives. Your first visit will likely focus on ways you, as a parent, can help keep your child’s teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Once your child is ready for the first visit of which they’ll be aware or remember, solid preparation can go a long way toward ensuring a positive experience for both of you. 

Our team is pleased to provide dental care for children of all ages. To help make your child’s dentist visits go smoothly, we’ve curated this guide with our top tips. Keep reading to learn ways to make your visits as helpful and comfortable as possible.

When to schedule your child’s first dental visit

Though each child’s needs are unique, most kids should see a dentist by age 1 or within about six months of their first tooth appearing. If your child doesn’t snack or drink during the night and has transitioned from bottles to cups, you may be able to wait until age 2. After the first visit, another appointment every six months is typically ideal. And of course, if a dental issue or concern crops up in between appointments, don’t hesitate to call us for guidance.

Prepare your child emotionally

Once your child is old enough to understand that they’re going to the dentist for a cleaning, exam, or dental treatment, prepare them well emotionally. Many kids experience some amount of dental anxiety, which can manifest in a range of ways, from crying to throwing a tantrum. To ease their nerves and normalize the appointments, consider these steps:

Reward good behavior

When your child takes good care of their teeth at home or successfully gets through an appointment, reward them for it. Simple praise from a parent can go a long way toward reinforcing good habits and give your child something to look forward to the next time. Leading up to dental visits, reward their daily habits with stickers or other goodies to keep them on-track and lower the risk of problems, such as cavities, that can make dental visits less fun.

To learn more about your child’s dental needs or schedule an appointment, call our office, or request an appointment through our website today. 

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