As a parent, there’s nothing you want more for your children than happiness and good health. But between all the checkups and visits, it can be hard to keep up with the latest recommendations. How do you even know if your child is ready for their first dentist appointment?
For our patients in and around Highlands Ranch, CO, we recommend you bring your kiddo in for their first dentist appointment at one year of age or when their first tooth comes through. Even if they only have one tooth, your child can still get a cavity.
As fun as we try to make your visits to Highlands Ranch Smiles, it can certainly be intimidating for the little one. We believe it’s beneficial for both you and your child if you prepare for that first visit ahead of time.
Getting Ready For Their First Dentist Appointment
You can start preparing your child for their first dentist appointment well before the big day. You can “play dentist” and pretend to be the doctor while your child opens their mouth for you to look inside. Count their teeth out loud or sing them a song.
You can also visit the library to read books about going to the dentist and having your teeth checked. We suggest you talk to your child about the visit in a happy, positive way and answer any questions they may have. Another great idea would be to bring your child with you for your own cleanings so they can get a better idea of what we do.
To help you better answer the questions they will probably send your way, it’s important you know what you can both expect during that first visit.
First Dentist Appointment: What To Expect
At Highlands Ranch Smiles, we want to make sure your child’s very first dentist appointment is a “happy visit.” That first visit is usually pretty short. More than anything, the visit is meant to introduce your child to their dentist so they can become more comfortable with the process while learning more about the importance of oral health.
During that first visit, we will make sure your child’s teeth and mouth are healthy and their bite is good. You can assure your little one that you’ll be right there by their side the whole time.
If they let us polish their teeth we will, but it’s most important that we go over instructions for keeping their teeth and mouth clean.
Discussions During Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment
To get a full understanding of your child’s overall oral health, there are several things we’ll want to talk to you about during your visit. Those topics will likely include:
- Proper oral hygiene practices
- Developmental milestones
- Habits affecting your child’s oral health (tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, lip sucking)
Tips For Making Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment Easier
To improve the chances of a positive experience for your child, we suggest you schedule an appointment for a time that they’re more likely to be well-rested and cooperative.
It may also be a good idea to give your little one a light snack, just be sure they brush their teeth before they come in for their first dentist appointment. That way they won’t be hungry and no food residue will be left on their teeth.
Try to remember that your family is here for a “happy visit” and a trip to the dentist should be a fun experience. If your child happens to become upset, please try to work with us to calm your child and help them feel more comfortable. We both want the same thing: a healthy and happy child.
Maintaining Healthy Habits After Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment
It can be a struggle for many parents to make sure their children are keeping their mouths clean. To stress the importance of proper oral health, it’s beneficial to establish a routine.
Generally, everyone should brush their teeth twice a day; once in the morning and once before bed. But exactly how you, as a parent, make that happen can vary.
One helpful tip is to make brushing your teeth a family affair. Join your little one in the bathroom and dance along with them as they brush for two minutes. If they’re too young to brush on their own, stand over them and sing to them as a distraction while you clean their teeth.
Make Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment Today
The most important thing to remember is consistency. You first have to make the habit then you have to maintain it, so help your children to do just that. That way when they visit us every six months we can be thrilled with the results and enjoy yet another “happy visit.”
To schedule your child’s first dentist appointment, give Dr. Michelle Haynes or Dr. Courtney McKeever with Highlands Ranch Smiles a call at 720-644-8186.