We strive to make sure that children develop good oral care habits as early as possible, so that they are well prepared to care for their own oral health as they grow up and become adults. Our extensive experience working with young patients has taught us that children who first receive regular dental checkups at an age as early as 3 years old are most likely to have the best oral health when they become adults.
We have seen our share of adult patients who have developed a phobia regarding visits to the dental office. It’s our experience that children who receive regular dental care are much less likely to develop this phobia, and they’re more likely to voluntarily set up appointments on their own as adults.
It is important that children receive regular checkups as early as possible. This gives us a better chance of identifying potential problems, so that we can take measures from preventing these problems from rearing their ugly heads in the first place.
In addition, by having a more complete and consistent record of the patient’s dental health as they grow older, we have the information needed to make informed decisions regarding the best possible treatments for any potential issues.
How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Visit to Our Office
You can do several things to help alleviate any fears and concerns that your child may have about their dental visit.
- You can introduce your child to various websites, magazines, and books regarding common dental procedures that a dentist may perform.
- You can tell them positive stories about your experiences in the dental office as a child yourself.
- You can show your child what to expect from our office by taking them on a virtual tour of our dental office.
All these things can help reduce any anxiety that the child may have. As the parent, you should feel relaxed as well because children often take their emotional cues from their parents. If you’re not worried, then they won’t worry either.
It’s also important that you don’t bribe your child to get them to agree to seeing their dentist. You also shouldn’t use a visit to the dentist as a threat or a punishment for bad behavior. These actions imply that a visit to the dentist is something bad that a child would want to avoid.
What Happens During the Child’s First Visit?
Here are some things you should expect when you accompany your child to see their dentist for the first time:
- We will check the state of their teeth, gums, and mouth. We will look closely for any signs of any oral care problems, and we can check to see if fluoride supplementation will be needed.
- We will also check if your child has developed any negative habits that can adversely affect their oral health. These habits include thumb-sucking.
- After the checkup, we will discuss with you the state of your child’s oral health and any treatment that may be suitable for any problems we discover. We can help teach your child (or teach you) how to clean their teeth and gums. We will also schedule regular dental office visits in the future.
It’s crucial that you bring your child to a dentist as early as possible. The American Dental Association recommends that the first visit to the dentist for a child should happen within 6 months after your baby’s first tooth appears. But even if the first tooth appears late, this first visit shouldn’t come later than their first birthday.
You also shouldn’t wait for any dental problems to appear first before you schedule an appointment with us. It’s actually better if your child hasn’t developed any dental problems yet when they first visit. Preventing these problems from occurring in the first place is one of the goals of the visit, after all.