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A Guide to Your Child's First Dental Appointment

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Your child's first visit to a dentist should happen before he turns one. Generally, it is 6 months after his or her first tooth comes out. Taking your child to a dentist at such very young age is the best way to avoid dental troubles like tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean the teeth of their child. As soon as teeth appear, decay will begin to occur. Bringing a child to a dental professional early often results in good oral care habits and helps your child become comfortable to the dental office, minimizing fear and anxiety, which can lead to many less stressful or even stress-free dental visits in the future.

How to Prepare Your Child for the First Appointment

Prior to the appointment, ask about proper dental procedures of the initial appointment, to avoid unpleasant surprises. Know what do to when your child becomes cooperative and when he or she is not. Very young kids can become fussy. They may also refuse to sit still. Talk to your child about the things he or she should expect. Make your child understand the upcoming appointment and try to make it sound interesting. Bring with you your child's medical history.

Things to Expect on the First Visit

Most first dental appointments are introductory appointments to acquaint children with the dentist and also the dental practice. Rescheduling the appointment maybe necessary if your child isn't comfortable or terrified, and non-cooperative. In this case,it's very important that you stay calm and patient, and comfort the child. Don't forget that short and successful appointments will help establish the trust of the child in the dentist and the dental office. This is very helpful if your child requires treatment in the future.

The appointment should be early during the day, when your child feels energetic and fresh. For children below the age of 3, the parent may have to sit in the dental chair and hold him or her during the examination. Or the parent may be asked to sit at the reception area and wait, so the child and the dentist can start establishing a relationship. The first visit usually takes 15-30 minutes if the child is cooperative.

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