Many parents understand the importance of dental hygiene, so they take their elementary students, preteens, and teens to a general dentistry provider. But did you know that you should actually take your child to the dentist within 6 months of getting their first tooth? And if you haven't already done so by their first birthday, you should request a family dentist appointment ASAP. Read on to learn what you need to know about scheduling your child's first dental visit.
Why is it important to take your child to the dentist early?
Visiting a dentist can be overwhelming for some patients, even if they're adults. Beginning dental visits at a young age helps kids get used to the dentist's office and everything that goes along with it — the sights, sounds, and smells. This can make future dentist appointments much less stressful for both you and your child. In addition, early dental visits give the dentist a chance to check for any potential problems and address them before they become more serious.
What can you expect during your child's first dentist appointment?
During your child's first dentist appointment, the family dentist will likely do a few things. First, they'll take a thorough medical history from you. They'll want to know about any medical conditions your child has, any medications they're taking, and any allergies they may have.
The dentist will also look at your child's teeth and gums to check for any signs of tooth decay or other problems. Your general dentistry provider may also recommend that your child get fluoride treatments or dental sealants to help prevent cavities in the future.
How do you prepare your baby for a trip to the dentist?
You can help your child feel more comfortable about going to the dentist by preparing them ahead of time. Talk to them about what the dentist does and why it's important to go, even if your child is a baby. Show your little one pictures of the dentist's office and explain what they can expect.
If you feel it's age-appropriate, you may even want to role-play with your child so they can get used to the idea of sitting in the dentist's chair. And on the day of the appointment, be sure to stay calm and positive — your child will take their cue from you.
Scheduling your child's first family dentist appointment is an important step in keeping their teeth and gums healthy. So don't wait — make an appointment with a trusted general dentistry provider today!