It’s time for your baby’s first trip to the dentist! This can be both exciting and a little scary, especially since it will be a totally new experience for your little one, who might feel uneasy about being in a strange place with a dentist he or she has never met. However, there are steps you can take to prepare and to ensure everything will go smoothly. To see what we mean, check out our tips below.
When Should Your Baby See the Dentist for the First Time?
A commonly asked question is: when should I take my baby to the dentist for the first time?
Well, experts recommend that you make an appointment within six months when you notice your little one’s first tooth grow in, or at least before your child’s first birthday rolls around. That’s because even those tiny little teeth can develop cavities!
Is your child over a year old but hasn’t seen the dentist yet? No worries! Just make an appointment ASAP to gain some valuable insight into keeping your baby’s teeth and gums clean and strong, and to get your child accustomed to being in the dentist’s chair.
Start by Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Baby
Should you take your baby to your regular dentist, or should you look for a pediatric dentist? It’s really up to you and how you feel about your family dentist. However, it might be a great idea to research pediatric dentists in your area who are known for being gentle, patient, and compassionate towards children.
A pediatric dentist will have more training and experience in examining and treating children, which is definitely a plus. Also, the office and exam room will be decorated and set up in a more kid-friendly way than a regular practice, making it more welcoming and less intimidating to a little boy or girl. And the entire staff will know how to interact with children of all ages to make them feel relaxed and comfortable.
Tip: Once you’ve found some options, ask them if you can come by for a tour, during which you and your baby can see the exam room and meet some of the staff. This can help you decide if it’s really the right fit.
New Experiences: Preparing for Your Baby’s Trip to the Dentist
Going to the dentist for the very first time might cause some anxiety and fear. Again, visiting the dentist for a tour of the office before the actual appointment might be helpful, but you can also take other steps to help your baby feel at ease from start to finish.
- Maintain a positive attitude throughout the process of getting your child ready for the appointment so your baby can feel as relaxed and content as possible. You can even bring your baby’s favorite toy or blanket to provide extra comfort. And, if your child gets frustrated during the exam, simply work with the dentist to calm your son or daughter down without getting impatient.
- It’s a good idea to avoid scheduling an appointment when your baby would normally be napping. And it’s also smart to make sure your baby has eaten prior to the appointment. The last thing you want is to take a tired, hungry, and cranky child to the dentist!
- Another way to make it easier on yourself is by asking the office for all of the patient forms in advance. Fill them out at home and then simply hand them in when you arrive. You might even be able to fill them out online and email them back, which could help make things even simpler.
- Have questions for your dentist about your baby’s teeth and gums, teething, or the use of a pacifier? Maybe you want to know how to prevent bottle rot, or you need some pointers on how to properly brush your baby’s chompers. You might forget some of these important questions while you’re at the appointment, so consider writing everything down beforehand.
What Can You Expect at the Appointment?
The good news is that, oftentimes, a baby’s first trip to the dentist will be a short and easy one. It can serve as an opportunity to have the dentist meet you and your baby, and to give you guidance and tips.
In addition to getting to know one another in a friendly and calm atmosphere, the dentist will also take some time to check your baby’s mouth. You might be able to hold your child during the entire examination so your baby can feel safe while the dentist checks the jaw, gums, teeth, and bite for any problems that need to be addressed.
Save Money with the Right Dental Insurance for Kids!
Overall, your baby’s first dental appointment doesn’t have to be a terrifying and stressful experience for anyone. With proper planning, and with the right dental insurance for kids, you can take all of the steps necessary to keep your little one’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape as he or she grows.