February 3, 2021

Prepare For Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Grab your favourite book or favourite toy and get ready to take your toddler for their first visit to the dentist. About six months after the first tooth erupts is the perfect time to visit the dentist. Some parents plan their child’s first dental visit at 12 months of age. It’s up to you, but plan for a positive learning experience. 

What You Will Learn

Preparation will set you and your child up for success. Preparation helps you and your child feel positive about going to the dentist. Below are a few things you will learn.

  • The potential of baby bottle tooth decay
  • Insight on infant feeding practices
  • Helpful mouth cleaning tips
  • Learn about teething 
  • How to select and use a pacifier 
  • A deep dive into finger-sucking habits

Prepare Your Child

Many parents begin by reading age-appropriate books about dentists and their vital work to help create more positive attitudes and improve their chances of a positive experience. You can also watch videos about dentists and share your ideas about dental health. It does help to talk frequently about dentists in a positive way. You can also explain in advance what the dentist will do and how long it will take. Many parents find it helpful to show their child photos of our dental clinic. 

The Best Time of day to Schedule an Appointment

It is essential to consider your child’s sleep schedule when considering the best time to book their first dental visit. We find that most toddlers are most alert and wide awake in the early morning. Try to avoid bringing them in when they are exhausted or need a nap, leading to an unpleasant experience. 

Prepare Yourself

The first visit will last between 35 and 45 minutes. This first visit is the best opportunity to develop a healthy and positive relationship with the dentist. Our team will provide helpful tips on how to take care of your child’s teeth. Be prepared with questions about brushing and flossing, and make sure to ask for demonstrations as well. Cleaning a baby’s mouth is essential, and we are happy to show you how to effectively clean your baby’s mouth. 

If you have dental anxieties, be careful not to relate those fears or dislikes to your child. Parents need to give moral support by staying calm while in the dental exam room. Children can pick up their parents’ anxieties and become anxious themselves.

Prepare The Dentist

Let us know if your child tends to be stubborn, defiant, anxious, or fearful in other situations. Sometimes children between 10 to 24 months of age may get upset during their first visit with a stranger. Let us know your best guess at how your child will react. Remember, if you are anxious about the dental visit, your child will most likely pick up on your anxiousness. 

The Subsequent Visits

Depending on your child’s age, the subsequent visit may involve a full examination of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to monitor growth and development. If required, a gentle cleaning includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains. Since baby teeth fall out, there is not much need for X-rays unless needed to diagnose decay. 

If possible, schedule morning dental appointments when young children are alert and fresh.

Dr. Choi
“Fantastic dentist! My kid wouldn't open his mouth for any other dentist. With Dr. Ella, he managed to get a check-up, cleaning and x-rays done. He was very nervous in the beginning, but at the end, he was giving everyone in the office a hug. I highly recommend Dr. Ella Choi.” Katelynn S.