Your Child’s First Dental Visit: Everything You Need to Know

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Sixth Street Dental

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December 4, 2019

As parents, we do everything in our power to make sure our children are happy and healthy. However, the things we do to make sure our children stay healthy - like bath time, immunizations, and eating vegetables - are things that tend to make children unhappy. As a leading pediatric dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics knows how important it is to teach children the habits that keep them healthy and happy for years to come. That’s why we’re here to help prepare parents for their child’s first dental appointment as well as tips for managing dental visits for young children as a whole. Using these tips, we hope to make a pediatric dentist visit a smooth, enjoyable experience for you and your child.

When should my child go to the pediatric dentist?

Planning Your First Visit with Leading Pediatric Dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental

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A recent study found that 62% of parents who had not yet taken their children to the dentist cite ‘the child being too young’ as the reason. However, this judgment is frequently drawn because many parents don’t realize that a child’s first trip to a pediatric dentist should be around the time the first tooth pops up -- and no later than 12 months of age. This is important because oral health problems can be assessed early to ensure that your child is ready to form healthy, lifelong habits.

Your child’s first appointment will typically last 30-45 minutes and will feel a little more like a meet and greet with the dentist (if your child’s first appointment is at the right age). If your child has enough teeth for cleaning or x-rays are needed, this could take a little longer. To ensure that your child is ready to tackle this sometimes nerve-wracking first appointment, we recommend scheduling a morning appointment when your child is feeling alert and fresh.

What will we discuss at the first appointment with a pediatric dentist?

What to Expect When Talking to the Leading Pediatric Dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental

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As a new parent, it can be nerve-wracking for you to visit a pediatric dentist for the first time. Not only are you worried that your parenting will be under scrutiny, but you’re concerned about your child’s health and behavior all at once. The leading pediatric dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental, is here to remind you too to take a deep breath. The first trip to the dentist is a major milestone made to keep you and your child on the right track for healthy habits.

Your dentist will want to gain an understanding of your child’s health and behavioral history. This includes medical issues, allergies, and feeding practices. A major concern that is tackled is baby bottle tooth decay; the type of decay caused by sugary liquids staying in a child’s mouth before bed. 

Using the information about your child’s health and behavioral history, the pediatric dentist will talk to you about proper cleaning, dealing with teething, and weening off pacifiers and finger-sucking habits. Additionally, your pediatric dentist will want to take a look at your child’s mouth and progress regarding tooth growth.

Tips from Leading Pediatric Dentist Rosslyn Farms Dental for the First Appointment

Looking to make your appointment a breeze? Keep these tips in mind.

Pediatric Dentistry Rosslyn Farms

Even with an understanding of what happens at the first appointment, surviving the first appointment as a parent can be anxiety-inducing. However, the leading pediatric dentist, Rosslyn Farms Dental, reminds you to stay calm and check out these tips to keep things moving smoothly:

  • Choose a dentist with experience with children. This is one of the most important ways to ensure a successful first visit. A pediatric dentist with experience knows how to deal with all sorts of kids - the fussy, the scared, the highly-curious - and has the skills for ensuring a successful visit and providing top-notch care.
  • Prepare your child for the appointment. As a parent, you are often the best voice of reason for your child. Prepare your child for the first visit by explaining what to expect, what the dentist may do, and why going to the dentist is so important. 
  • Children can pick up on parents’ anxieties, so leave yours at the door. Keep a level head and a smile on your face, treating a trip to the dentist more like a fun outing than an emotionally-taxing task.
  • Use positive reinforcements. While at the dentist, be sure to cheer your child on. Telling your child ‘you’re doing a great job at opening wide’ helps reinforce positive behavior. Additionally - when in doubt (because we all do it) - a little bribe can sweeten the deal. Offer your child 20 minutes at the playground for good behavior or a special dessert with dinner for good behavior at the dentist.


Want to tackle your child’s first appointment with a pediatric dentist with confidence? Get in touch with Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics today to schedule an appointment for anyone in the family.

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