New parents often have a lot of questions about the health and development of their children. What is the best diet for a child? At what age should a child be potty trained? When should a child go to the dentist? We may not be able to help with all things parenting, but we can certainly answer the last question. Here’s what you need to know about when to take your child for their first dental appointment and how to prepare them.
When Should a Child Go to the Dentist?
Many pediatric dentistry experts recommend that parents take their child for their initial dentist visit either when their baby’s first tooth appears or as close to their first birthday as possible.
Many people make the mistake of believing that because baby teeth are eventually lost when adult teeth begin to emerge, the health of these teeth isn’t as important. They may assume that dentists don’t address any cavities they find in baby teeth or that the dentist will only care for adult teeth. Unfortunately, these assumptions are not correct. In fact, dental health has a significant impact on a growing child, such as:
- Helping the child to obtain adequate nutrition
- Maintaining space for adult teeth to emerge properly
- Helping the child to learn to speak and develop language skills
- Promoting lifelong dental health awareness
Because good dental care is imperative for young children, it is essential to engrain excellent oral hygiene habits as soon as possible. By ensuring that they regularly see their dentist at least twice a year from an early age, you’re helping to instill excellent dental habits in your child.
How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Appointment
If your child is very young, you may not have to do much out of the ordinary to help prepare your baby for their appointment. Make sure you have a packed diaper bag and include a special toy or snack as a reward that they can receive after the appointment.
If your child is a toddler when they have their first dental visit, they’re more aware of their surroundings and might be nervous to see the dentist. Explain to your child why going to the dentist is important and let them know what to expect during their dental exam. Talk to your child about the sights, sounds, and smells that they may encounter at the dentist’s office and reassure them that they won’t be in any pain, and nothing the dentist will do during the initial exam will hurt.
If possible, take your child with you to the dentist for a routine cleaning or exam before their first exam. Doing this can help your child become more familiar with the experience before it’s their turn. There are a wide variety of online resources that can help you educate your child about dental health and going to the dentist. You can make this knowledge more fun by taking turns roleplaying being the dentist and patient with your child. Plan your visit so that it isn’t rushed and have a special reward ready after the appointment.
Book Your Child’s Appointment with Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza Today
Is your child ready to see the dentist for the first time? Book their appointment with Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza for excellent pediatric dental health care every time you see us. In addition to our pediatric services, we also offer a range of other treatment options, including:
- Fluoride treatments
- Teeth cleaning
- Teeth whitening options
- Emergency dental services
- Oral cancer screenings