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What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

May 13, 2020

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Whether you’re preparing for your child’s first dental visit or you’re planning ahead, you likely have a few questions. Oftentimes parents find themselves wondering not only when to bring their child in for their first checkup, but also, what to expect in anticipation of an upcoming appointment. Knowing a few basic details ahead of time can help simplify the process and ensure your child is getting the best possible oral care.

When Should You Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit?

One of the most common questions parents have for us is, “When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?” They are often surprised to learn that a child’s first trip to the dentist is usually recommended to occur before or around their first birthday, but the general rule of thumb is to schedule it within 6 months of seeing their first tooth appear.

It may not seem important to bring your little one in for a single tooth, but it is a fantastic opportunity to ensure your child’s oral health is off to a proper start. The recommendation to visit a dental professional from the very first tooth allows parents, children, and the medical community to work together to build healthy teeth and healthy habits from day one. It also allows for a non-invasive visit for the initial meeting, which lets kids build a more trusted relationship with their dentists as well.

How to Prepare for a Young Child’s Dentist Appointment

Prior to bringing your little one in for the first time, you may wonder if there’s anything you should do to prepare for the visit. In short, there’s really not much you need to do before bringing your child in for their visit other than a few simple things to ensure you have the proper forms and documentation you’ll need.

Since this will be your child’s first time as a patient in the office, they will likely need you to complete a few new patient information forms, giving the staff the pertinent background data needed to add them to the system. You’ll also want to be sure you have your insurance information available at the time of your child’s appointment, but that’s really all there is in terms of preparation.  

What to Expect During Your Child’s First Visit

Depending upon the age of your child and the stage of dental growth they are in at the time of the visit, your child’s first appointment should be fairly quick and simple with minimal treatment. In most cases, this visit is simply an opportunity for your child’s dentist to meet with you and introduce themselves, while taking a quick peak and setting up a healthy oral hygiene plan with you.

The first visit, when done within 6 months of the appearance of the first tooth, is generally focused on helping you set up the best dental practices for your child while also affording a chance to do a quick look for any potential oral issues early on. Your child’s dentist will likely look for any signs of decay or issues with gum health or other tissues, but overall, it is simply your first opportunity to lay the foundation for proper oral care for years to come.

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