If you’re a new parent or perhaps expecting the newest addition to your family soon, one question you may have on your list is “When should I start thinking about a dentist visit for my little one?”.
Surprisingly, the answer frames a timeline earlier than most parents expect. The ideal time recommended for bringing your child to his or her first dental visit is at the first sign of a tooth coming through. The reason: Cavities can happen even in just one tooth! It is important to stay proactive about your baby’s dental health.
If you do decide to wait a little longer before that first dentist visit, make sure your baby gets a checkup no later than his or her first birthday. We understand -A trip to the dentist with a young tot does not sound like it’ll be the most pleasant experience.
But don’t fret – we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves that may help abate some of those fears and help you prepare for a hassle-free dental appointment for your little one.
Throughout the first few months of your baby’s life, you’ll see a lot of opportunities to focus on good dental habits. The teething phase may be particularly tough, and there are lots of solutions and treatments available to get your child (and you!) through that tearful time. As your child progresses towards the 8-12 month mark, you’re likely to see a tooth or two make an appearance.
When you start seeing teeth, begin preparing your child for that first visit to the dentist. Explain to your child what the dentist is all about. Reading children’s books about the dentist, or watching similar videos with your child can help prepare the little one for what’s ahead.
Establishing a pleasant, positive dental hygiene routine with your child can help tremendously. Using a soft bristle baby toothbrush, you can get your child acclimated to the usual dental health regimen. You may even find it more enticing by making it into a game.
During toothbrush time, do some mouth-opening exercises with your child and explain how we have to sometimes hold our mouths open big and wide so the dentist can see everything that’s going on.
Once you and your little one feel comfortable and prepared for that first dentist visit, contact the dentist’s office and ask if you can prepare any necessary paperwork ahead of time, before you schedule the appointment. This will save a ton of time and hassle in the waiting room.
You may also want to prepare a list of questions ahead of time that you’d like to ask your dentist. If you have particular concerns about any abnormal symptoms you may have noticed, make sure to include those things on the list as well and get feedback from your dentist.
Try to schedule your appointment in the early afternoon, as it’ll make it easier to make sure your child has had nap and a lunch before heading to the dentist visit (make sure to brush after eating!). Make the trip to the dentist a fun and uplifting ride and encourage your child with a treat for being good at the dentist. Need any more tips? Have any further questions? Contact us today, we’re here to help!