Dentist for Kids
Little boy at the dentist

Dentist for Kids

First Trip to the Dentist

Yay, we have teeth! 🙂

Now is the time to start thinking about visiting the dentist.

Sure, we all know that babyteeth don’t hang around forever (they generally start to fall out when your child is six or seven) but it’s still important to keep those tiny teeth — and gums — in tip-top shape while they’re saving the spots for grownup teeth.

How do you make sure those pearly whites stay pearly?

  1. First teach your toddler to brush his teeth (or tooth) at least twice a day.
  2. Second, get them used to the idea of great dentist visits.

I have taken my girls to my dentist a few times just to get them (and me) used to the whole process. Sitting in the chair, getting used to all the dentistry noises, and so on. This will make the process a whole lot easier when its comes to the real deal.

4 Tips to Survive the First Visit to the Dentist:

  1. When to go.  It is recommended that you take your child to his first dentist appointment within about six months of his first tooth’s arrival, or by the time he turns one.
  2. Whom to choose. When it comes to picking a first dentist, many people take their little one to Mom and Dad’s dentist — and this is often a good choice, particularly if your dentist has experience with young children. You may also want to consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist — someone who has additional training in caring for children’s oral health. Another bonus to choosing a pediatric dentist: He’ll be prepared to deal with any squirming or shouting in the dental chair, and he’ll have a waiting room filled with distractions such as kids books and toys and lollypops!!!
  3. What will happen. Expect the first dentist appointment to be short and informal — more of a meet and greet for your child and the dentist.

Depending on your child’s age and comfort level, you may be asked to hold him while the dentist pokes around his mouth. Or you may be asked to hang back in the waiting room so your toddler can have some quality time to get to know the dentist and staff on his own.

As for the business of inspecting your tot’s teeth, the dentist will check for decay and take a look at your child’s gums, jaw, and bite.

The dentist or the hygienist may clean your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride preparation (particularly if there is a stain or a high risk of cavities) or he or she may save that for the next visit.

Chances are, the dentist will talk to you about good oral-hygiene habits — and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about toddler teething, thumb sucking, tooth-friendly foods, or anything else that pertains to your toddler’s oral health. You may want to bring a list of your questions to the appointment so that you remember them when you’ve got the dentist’s attention.

4. How often to visit. Based on how your toddler’s teeth look, your dentist will let you know when to make the next visit. Most experts recommend that toddlers see the dentist about every six months — as long as there are no major problems. So don’t forget to schedule your child’s second appointment on your way out the door!

Here’s to a wonderful first visit to the dentist and a lifetime of healthy smiles.

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