Your child’s first visit to the dentist
Ideally, kids should come in for their first appointment at around age two.
When your child comes in for the first time, both the dentist and dental hygienist will take the time to establish a relationship of trust before proceeding with the examination and cleaning. They will also teach both you and your child efficient brushing and flossing techniques.
Almost 50% of patients are anxious about going to the dentist. Start your child off on the right foot by adopting a positive attitude towards the visit and explaining what will take place during the first appointment. Your collaboration is important before, during and after the visit.
Before the first visit:
- Numerous children’s books tell the story of a child’s first visit to the dentist. We suggest that you pick one up at the local library and read it to your child a few days before the appointment. This will reassure your child as to what to expect.
- The day before the visit, go over the main steps that will take place.
- Refrain from telling your child that the examination and cleaning won’t hurt or cause any discomfort as this may cause them to needlessly apprehend their upcoming appointment.
During the visit:
- With very young children, we sometimes ask the parent to sit on the dentist’s chair and have the child sit on the parent’s knees.
- With older children, we may ask you to return to the waiting room once the initial contact is made.
- We ask that you listen attentively when instructions and suggestions are given with regard to your child’s oral hygiene.
- Maintain a positive attitude throughout the visit.
- Be sure to schedule the next appointment before leaving.
After the visit:
- Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day or after each meal and flosses before going to bed.
- Monitor your child’s nutritional choices and frequently propose unsweetened and low acid foods.
- Make sure your child brushes before going to bed (up to age 10).