Although most parents record big milestones like first steps or first words, few people acknowledge the importance of the first dental visit. Ideally, your child should have an initial visit by age one. Around three, you should begin to schedule regular appointments.
Why does my child need to see the dentist at such a young age?
Once teeth being to erupt, you should have a dentist check out your child’s mouth. Dental problems can start early, so the sooner the appointment, the better. Your dentist can also provide recommendations about common issues like thumb sucking, pacifier use, and baby bottle decay.
How do I prepare for the first visit?
When you schedule the appointment, ask the dental office for details about the process so you won’t be surprised. Gently explain to your child about what to expect. Have a plan in place so that you are prepared whether your child has a positive or negative reaction to the visit.
What happens at this appointment?
Often, this first experience is just an opportunity to introduce your child to the dentist and office. If the child cooperates, the visit may include an examination of the whole mouth, a gentle cleaning, and X-rays.