We understand the first visit to the kids dentist can be nerve wracking — even for parents! Introducing your child to a new environment with strangers can be a scary experience for them. Luckily, our pediatric dentist specializes in caring for children and making sure they feel comfortable at her office. Here’s everything you need to know about your child’s first visit to the kids dentist!
When to visit the kids dentist
Even babies need to see the dentist! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking a child to see the kids dentist once the first tooth erupts or by the age of one, whichever comes first. It may seem a little premature, but it’s a great way to establish great dental habits early on. Cavities can start forming right when your child’s tooth starts showing, so it’s a good idea to talk to a pediatric dentist as soon as possible to ensure your child’s teeth are developing strong and healthy.
Why the first visit is important
The reason we emphasize the importance of the first visit is because it establishes your child’s first impression of the dentist’s office. If your child enjoys their time at the dentist’s office, they will be able to start building a positive association with their pediatric dentist. Children who have a “dental home” where they feel safe and comfortable are more likely to practice good dental habits and see the dentist regularly later in life.
On the other hand, a negative first experience at the dentist can be traumatizing. We definitely don’t want to instill any fear of the dentist in our patients. Dental anxiety is a pretty common problem with children, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay!
Our dentist loves working with kids and she understands the importance of building an open and honest relationship with all her patients. No matter how young your child is, we want to make their first time at the dentist’s office as enjoyable and fun as possible.
How to prepare
Before your baby’s appointment, make a checklist of everything you need to show the dentist and front desk administration. This includes:
- Insurance information
- Contact information
- Dental history
It’s also a good idea to bring some comfort toys and snacks for your child in case they get fussy!
We encourage parents to come in 15 minutes early, so our patients can get acclimated with the environment. There are toys, games, magazines, and children’s shows playing in the waiting room.
What to expect
Once you’re out of the waiting room and you’ve filled out all your paperwork, you and your child will get the opportunity to meet our friendly kids dentist and staff.
Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Sheu, will then talk to you about you and your family’s dental health. Genetics plays a large role in a child’s dental health. Knowing what problems to be aware of early on can help the doctor prevent them from affecting your child later down the line.
Finally, Dr. Sheu will conduct a dental exam of your baby’s teeth and gums to make sure everything is developing properly.
Once this exam is complete, Dr. Sheu will show you how to practice good dental habits with your child, such as how to your baby’s gums and teeth after meals! She will also go over what you can expect in the next few years in terms of dental growth and development. There are a few things to keep an eye out for, such as pacifier use and thumb sucking.
When to ask questions
You always want what’s best for your child and it can be hard to gauge whether your pediatric dentist is the right fit for your family in just one visit. If you have any questions at all, please, please ask away! Dr. Sheu is happy to answer any of your questions at the end of the appointment. In fact, the more, the better. We want you to be fully informed, so you can take the best care of your child’s teeth possible!