The first visit to the dentist is a big deal! Most parents usually ask, “when should my child first see the dentist?”
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry the answer is “first visit to the dentist by their first birthday.”
This may seem early to many parents, but studies have shown that kids are starting to get cavities younger; as early as age 2! Early prevention allows parents to discuss teeth and mouth care with the dentist, as well as teething and teeth milestones.
So what can you expect from the first visit to the dentist?
Meet and Greet
It is the dentist’s #1 goal to make your child feel comfortable! They will introduce themselves and explain each step of the checkup process. Some dentist even use toys, puppets or oversized toothbrushes to make it more fun!
The dentist or hygienist will next put on gloves and count all the teeth in your child’s mouth. They will also take this time to examine for soft gums, bad oral habits, and their bite.
Lick and a Polish
Next, the dentist will hand over sunglasses or goggles (to protect the eyes) and clean and polish your child’s teeth. Letting them see and/or touch the brush beforehand, to ease any fears.
Lastly, the dentist will show the sucking straw and how it works. Then use it to remove any remaining toothpaste in your child’s mouth.
No first visit to the dentist is complete without a stop at the prize bin! Many dentists carry anything from crayons and stickers to bracelets, rings, and keychains. It helps to remind kids the dentist office is fun!
And remember… practice all the good oral care you learned from your first visit to the dentist, at home. By brushing twice a day, stopping sucking habits, and avoiding sugary, sticky snacks, your child will be on their way to a healthy smile!