First Visit for Your Child

Child sitting on her mothers lap interacting with her dentist for the first time

Being a first-time parent comes with many new experiences. The entire experience is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. With so many options to choose from, understanding how to care for your child can be confusing. Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions Dr. Laudie hears from new parents is when they should take their child in for their first dentist appointment.

When should my baby see the dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends children begin seeing a dentist by age one or within the first six months of their first tooth coming in. Getting in at this time ensures your child has a healthy mouth and a great starting point for future oral health.

How do I find the right dentist?

Choosing the right dentist for your child takes time and research. Talk to friends to see who they recommend and what they’ve experienced with dentists in town. Once you have a list of recommendations go online and look for reviews. Read both the good and the bad so you know what to look for and to narrow down your list of options. Once you have your list, call each of the doctors and ask about their experience with children and what options they offer for pediatric dentistry.

What happens during the first dental visit?

The first dental visit is typically brief. It provides an opportunity for your child to meet the dentist and get comfortable with them. If your child doesn’t like the dentist or you don’t like the way they interact with your child, you’ll know during this visit and be able to move on.

Depending on the child, you might be asked to sit in the chair with your child so the doctor can perform the exam. During this exam, the doctor will look for any signs of decay, gum, jaw, or tooth issues (like poor alignment), and overall health.

This visit really helps to establish a baseline, so that as your child grows you have an idea of the progress they’re making.

What should I talk to my dentist about?

Your child’s first dentist appointment is your opportunity to talk to the dentist about any questions you have. Common questions include discussing the best oral hygiene practices for your child’s teeth and gums. You might also talk about habits like thumb sucking, lip sucking, and tongue thrusting, as well as teething.

If you’re concerned about teething and nutrition, the dentist can provide you with tips on how to provide proper nutrition for optimal tooth and bone strength.

If you’re looking for a dentist who offers exceptional pediatric care and is patient and gentle, get in touch with Summit Dental. We have extensive experience with children and first-time dental appointments and are excited to serve you.