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Small boy smiling with the dentist doctor

New places and situations can be anxiety-inducing for young children, and the dentist’s office is no exception. Between the professional attire of the doctors and the strange instruments on display, the first visit can be unnerving. Proper planning on your part, however, can help mitigate the alarm and instill in your child a healthy understanding of oral care.

Preparing for Your First Visit

The typical consensus is that you should first bring your child to the dentist within six months of their first tooth appearing or before their first birthday, whichever comes first. Finding the right dentist is the first step in building a trusting and healthy relationship.

Many parents bring their children to their own dentist. While this is a reasonable choice, you may want to consider a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have extensive experience dealing with the particular health concerns of children and adolescents. A pediatric dentist also possesses the knowledge to help make the experience as inviting as possible.

What to Expect

Before the visit, you should make a list of any medical conditions your child has or any prescriptions they’re taking. You may also want to consider teething and sucking habits to relate back to the dentist. Consider preparing your child by going over what they can expect from the visit and teach them the basics of oral hygiene.

The first visit is typically short and stress-free. The main purpose is to get your toddler comfortable in the environment. The doctor will inspect your child’s mouth for any irregularities and explain to them the fundamentals of oral hygiene. A dentist in Denver, such as the dentists of Cody Dental Group, will likely have puppets, models, and posters to help explain the process in ways they’ll have fun understanding.

Depending on how far along your toddler’s teeth are, the pediatric dentist may clean and polish the child’s teeth with a rotary brush. Afterward, your child will usually be allowed to pick a toy or treat from a grab bag. Dentists often use this technique to positively reinforce the child’s relationship with them. Building trust means your child will be far more understanding and less anxious if and when they need more serious dental work.

Sources:
Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment, whattoexpect.com
First Trip to the Dentist, parents.com

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