For most adults the dentist can be a scary experience, so we understand your reservations about bringing your baby to the dentist. But, good oral hygiene starts young, and so do dentist visits.
Your child should definitely make their first dentist visit before their first birthday. The general rule that most dentists follow is that the child should start seeing a dentist regularly six months after the eruption of the first tooth.
Bringing your infant to the dentist probably sounds like a lot to tackle, for you and for them. But, if you follow these simple guidelines then you’ll have no problem transitioning your child into a good oral health routine.
Before the first visit make sure to discuss with your dentist what the appointment will be like. You’ll want to know what your child is going through so that you can explain to them beforehand what will happen. Usually, a first dental appointment is just an opportunity for the dentist to get to know the patient and do a check up.
We all know that our kiddos can have those days; the ones filled with tantrums, screaming, and general grumpiness. Plan ahead for that and be willing to reschedule if that’s the case. Or, if your child is compliant, then plan ahead and be ready to go through the process with them. Try to schedule an appointment in the morning when your child is most alert.
For kids under 36 months, you will sit in the chair and they will sit in your lap. It might not be ideal for you to have a wriggling infant on your lap who may start crying at any minute, but it will make it easier for them. If your child feels comfortable doing the exam, then expect it to last between 15 to 30 minutes. The dentist will do a thorough examination of the teeth, gums, jaw, and bite as well as do a gentle cleaning, conduct x-rays, and show them how to clean properly at home.
The first trip to the dentist can be pain free if you practice good oral health at home and follow these steps.