A common question that many parents of young children have is when they should first take their child to see their New Westminster dentist. Other questions parents of young children typically have also included what to expect during their child’s first visit, how to best prepare their child to go to the dentist for the first time, and how to take care of their child’s oral health at home. We’ve compiled responses to these and more of your frequently asked questions about your child’s first trip to the dentist.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

It is recommended that you take your child to see the dentist before their first birthday. Most people will say that you should go six-months after their first tooth has come in. Starting to take your child to the dentist at an early age is one of the best ways to prevent dental problems later on, such as tooth decay. Additionally, when you start to take your child to the dentist when they are young they develop better oral hygiene habits, learn how to clean their teeth properly, and their fluoride needs are properly met.  

How do I prepare my child to visit the dentist?

When you call to schedule your child’s first appointment, ask what the visit will include so as you aren’t surprised. Then, plan a course of action for every reaction your child might exhibit—cooperative or not. Many young children tend to be fussy and don’t want to sit still. Be sure to talk to your child often about the upcoming appointment to get them excited and to provide some basic understanding of what they will be experiencing.

What happens during an initial visit?

In most cases, the first visit is simply an introductory visit to acquaint your child with the dentist and the dental office. In instances where a young child is scared, nervous or un-corporative, it is crucial that parents remain calm and practice patience with their child.

When possible, appointments for small children should be made first thing in the morning, when they are most alert and fresh. For exceptionally young children, parents may be required to sit in the dental chair and hold their child for the duration of the visit.

When children are cooperative, the first visit can last anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. During this time, the dentist may perform the following procedures.

  • A gentle, thorough examination of teeth, jaw, bite gums and oral tissue, monitoring growth and development and observing any potential problem areas
  • Assessment of the need for fluoride
  • A demonstration on how to properly care for teeth at home
  • X-rays and cleaning are usually deferred to a later appointment when the child is older and more cooperative.

Starting your child off at a young age with regular visits to see their New Westminster dentist can result in healthy oral habits that they will carry with them throughout their life. At Atlantis Dental Roundhouse, we are committed to your entire family having clean, beautiful looking teeth, including your little ones! Call today to schedule your child’s first appointment!