Planning Your Child’s First Dental Visit

From the moment your child is born, you worry about every sound they make, every step they take and every bump or bruise they get. Their health and happiness is your number one priority. Protecting your child’s teeth is one of the first steps you can take to ensure a lifetime of good health. It’s important to start a regular routine with your pediatric dentist early in your child’s life. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says that a child’s first dental visit should occur within six months after your child’s first tooth appears, but no later than your child’s first birthday.

At Happy Kids, we like to follow the equation 1 + 1 = ZERO.

  • ONE dental visit when there's ONE tooth can equal ZERO cavities.
  • Visiting a pediatric dentist by the time the first baby tooth appears enables the child to begin a lifelong preventive dental care program to minimize tooth decay and cavities.
  • If your child starts seeing a pediatric dentist early in life, it sets up your child to have less anxiety and better dental health.
  • Pediatric dentists can detect early tooth decay, provide parents with information on proper oral and facial development, determine their specific needs and more.

Your baby has their first tooth, now what?

Find a Dentist: It’s time to find a pediatric dentist you feel a connection with and that your child feels comfortable being around. Creating a routine with a trustworthy and caring dentist will ensure a lifetime of confidence in oral health. If you and your child don’t feel that connection with the dentist or office staff, the likelihood that your child develops a fear of the dentist is much higher.

Stay Positive: Once you’ve determined the office you want to visit (and hopefully it’s Happy Kids!), the best thing you can do for your child is to maintain a positive attitude. Children pick up on adult's apprehensions. If you make negative comments about the dentist's office, your child will pick up on that fear and act accordingly. Show your child pictures of the office and staff online so that they will be familiar when you arrive. Let your child know how important it is to keep teeth and gums healthy and how the dentist helps them do that. The dentist has 2-3 additional years in specialty training and is prepared to handle fears and anxiety, and the staff excels at putting your child at ease. As a parent, you can rest assured that your child will be in the best hands.

Have Fun: Once you get to the appointment, that’s when the fun begins! On that first visit, the biggest focus should be on creating a relationship between the pediatric dentist, the office staff and your family. Giving the dentist and your child the opportunity to bond will set the stage for a lifetime of trust. Then, the dentist can check the health of your child's teeth and look for potential problems with the gums or jaws. If cleaning is needed, that’ll be taken care of that too. Make sure to come prepared with any questions you have, including future concerns and healthy habit tips. The first visit usually takes only a few minutes, but is critical to start the routine of healthy teeth for years to come.

If you have any questions about setting up your first appointment with Happy Kids, give us a call! We’re happy to talk you through our first appointment routine and how we aim to make you and your child feel right at home.