Your child’s teeth are a reflection of their growth and maturity; a signal that those sweet newborn and infant days are coming to an end. New things are on the horizon when that first tooth breaks through: solid foods, teething rings, and even bite marks on your furniture!
Another first that’s coming up is your child’s first trip to the dentist. The general rule of thumb is that a child should have their first dental checkup within six months of the appearance of the first tooth or by the first birthday.
When you get ready to come in for that initial appointment, bring a list to help you remember what questions to ask. If you’re unsure what to talk to the dentist about, some topics you might need more information on include:
- How to Brush Your Child’s Teeth
- Fluoridated Toothpaste and Fluoridated Water
- Thumb-sucking and Pacifiers
- Discoloration of baby teeth
- Alignment of baby teeth
- Healthy snacks and food choices
We want to give you all the information you need to keep your child’s smile healthy and strong for years to come, so any question you have is welcome!
Preparing Your Child
You’ve already been to a number of doctor’s appointments with your baby, but at a year of age, he doesn’t remember it specifically. You want your child’s first dental visit to be just as unmemorable. Use age-appropriate vocabulary at the right times to tell older toddlers or young children about what to expect:
- Over a meal tell him how dentists are friends who want to keep our teeth and smiles healthy.
- While brushing her teeth, talk about how the dentist will want to touch and count each tooth in her mouth.
- Read bedtime stories about dentists
- Play “dentist” while lying on the floor and allow your child to brush your own teeth just for fun!
It’s Never Too Late
Even if you didn’t get your child to the dentist at a year old, it is never too late to start them down the road to good dental health. Make their appointment sooner rather than later. The longer your little one goes without a checkup and cleaning, the more likely he will be to have cavities.
If she is older, five or more, you can have actual conversations about the dentist. Allow him to ask questions about what will happen and keep your answers as simple as possible. If you have your own hang ups about getting dental care, don’t spread it to your child. Keep your tone neutral and avoid telling about the time something scary happened to you. Don’t use words like “shot,” “hurt,” or “drill,” even if it’s in a positive light…keep things positive so as not to plant any ideas about the experience being less than enjoyable.
Whether you’re making a first appointment for your infant or an older child, you can trust that Norwood Dental will make the initial visit as easy as possible.