Preparing for Your First Dentist Visit

If you are the parent of a young child, you may be gearing up for his or her first dentist visit. The Academy of General Dentistry advocates taking children to the dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting, or around one year old. Here’s how to prepare yourself, your child, and the dentist for your first visit, as well as what to expect when you arrive.

How to Prepare for Your First Dentist Visit

Start by preparing your child. If possible, schedule a morning appointment so your child is fresh and alert. If you’re seeing a new dentist with your preschooler or elementary-age child, explain what it’s like to visit the dentist. The goal is to convey information and build excitement.

Then, prepare yourself for your child’s first dentist visit. If you personally struggle with dental anxiety, do your best not to convey any discomfort to your child. Your job is to serve as moral support so your child is more likely to feel comfortable visiting the dentist twice a year into adulthood.

Don’t forget to prepare the dentist to see your child as well. You may be asked to provide your child’s medical history, so contact his or her pediatrician for the information you need. If your child has stubborn, frantic, or fearful traits, tell your dentist this so the necessary precautions can be put in place.

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

The first visit is intended to help your child become acquainted with the dentist. The appointment may last 30 to 45 minutes and may include examining your child’s teeth, jaws, bite, and gum health. If necessary, the dentist may perform a gentle teeth cleaning. Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, it may be possible to perform this step while he or she sits on your lap.

The dentist may also offer advice about caring for your child’s teeth at home. You can ask for a demonstration of how to brush and floss your child’s teeth to ensure you’re doing it properly. You may also receive advice in regards to limiting your child’s time with a bottle, avoiding food that causes tooth decay, and restricting milk and juice intake before and during naptime.

As with adults, children should see the dentist every six months. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits if it becomes necessary to monitor and treat a developing problem.

Visit a Family Dentist in Hazlet

At Glenwood Premier Dental, we strive to make your first visit with us a comfortable one. Whether your child is now old enough to visit our office, or you’re transferring to a new family dentist in Hazlet, we can meet your needs. To learn more about us, or to schedule an appointment for you or your child, please contact us at (732) 264-4477.