When to Take Your Child to their First Dentist Appointment

Everything You Need to Know About Taking Young Children to the Dentist

A dentist appointment is one of many ‘firsts’ that parents look forward to for their child. While you might be excited for your infant, you might also be confused. We understand that you probably have plenty of questions, like:

  • At what age should I take my child to the dentist?

  • What happens at my child’s first dentist appointment?

  • How can I prepare my child for their first trip to the dentist?

We’ve answered all of your questions involving pediatric care – meaning dentistry that focuses on young patients – below.

At What Age Should I Take My Child to the Dentist?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific age at which a child needs to go to the dentist. Instead, you should base this decision on your child’s teeth. Specifically, take notice of when their first tooth starts to grow. This usually happens before their first birthday.

We recommend taking your child to the dentist within the first six months after seeing their first tooth grow. If that has not happened before the child’s first birthday, take them then.

How to Take Care of an Infant’s Oral Health

Every child’s teeth grow differently, so you shouldn’t panic if you are unsure of something you see in your child’s mouth. A pediatrician can help make sense of any issues you should notice.

Still, it’s worth taking proper care of your child’s teeth to avoid these issues. We recommend the following:

  • Before the teeth come in, clean your child’s mouth with a gauze pad or soft cloth

  • Once the teeth come in, clean with a small, soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste

  • Make sure to avoid overusing a bottle, as that can increase your child’s risk of tooth decay

Benefits of Taking an Infant to the Dentist

Get Pointers on Your Techniques

When you brush your own teeth, you can usually tell if you’re doing the job well. Brushing your kid’s teeth, though, is a little different. You might not be sure if your child is getting the proper care they need. Fortunately, a dentist can give you personalized suggestions based on your approach to cleaning your child’s mouth.

Identify Risks Before They Become Problems 

Your dentist can help determine whether your child could face any challenges moving forward. By catching these early on, you can avoid expensive or painful treatments down the road.

What to Expect From Your Infant’s First Dental Visit

It’s your child’s first visit to the dentist, and the dentist will likely want to take the opportunity to give them a complete checkup. This will include a full dental exam. The dentist will check every aspect of your child’s teeth to ensure that everything is healthy and progressing properly.

They may also perform x-rays, which can determine whether teeth are growing as they should, and provide a point of reference for future visits. 

How to Prepare Your Child

Your child has never stepped foot in the dentist’s office before – imagine how confused they must be! Rest assured: there’s no need to panic. You can encourage your child and make them feel as comfortable as possible with the following tips. As a result, your child will feel confident, and their risk of developing dental anxiety will go down.

Make It Fun

Whether you think dentist appointments are truly fun – or quite the opposite – you can make your child’s trip to the dentist better simply by framing it as a fun activity. Kids are curious, so feed their curiosity by answering any questions they may ask.

At Blue Haven Dental, our patient room is a fun, comfortable environment equipped with everything your kid needs to enjoy themselves before and after their appointment.

Start Brushing as Soon as the First Tooth is Visible

As we mentioned above, you should start brushing your child’s teeth when they come in. By taking care of your child’s teeth early and often, you’ll lower the risk of any problems developing. Plus, it’s always a good idea to help them develop good oral health habits early on.

Avoid Giving Your Child Too Much Sugar

A common misconception about cavities is that young children are immune to them. In reality, your child could develop tooth decay at a very early age – especially if they eat and drink a lot of sugar. Try to limit the amount of sugary drinks and snacks your children eat, and you’ll avoid hearing bad news on their first trip to the dentist. 

Contact a Dentist if You Have Any Concerns

Sometimes, taking care of a young child’s teeth can be confusing. You might not be sure if a concern is worth visiting the dentist over, and that’s okay. If you’re ever uncertain, we recommend giving your dentist a call. They can help you determine whether you need to book an appointment ASAP, or if you can solve the issue on your own.

As a parent, you might be excited or anxious – or both! – about your child’s first trip to the dentist. With the tips we’ve included above, you should feel more comfortable about your child’s experience.

At Blue Haven Dental, we put family first. Our facility is equipped with items to help make your child more comfortable, including plenty of space. Oh, and did we mention that our waiting room has Netflix and YouTube?

For your child’s first checkup, book with us today!