close up of first teeth

A child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist can be overwhelming for both the parent and the child. Unfortunately, dentists get a bad rap, but our team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids is here to change that! During your child’s first visit, and every visit after that, we promise to provide gentle and compassionate care in a fun environment.

If you didn’t know, children should visit the dentist six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday (whichever comes first). In this blog, we’ll discuss what happens during this appointment and provide tips to help parents prepare for their child’s first visit to the dentist.

The First Visit

At our practice, your child’s comfort, happiness, and dental health are our top priorities. We know the first visit will have a lasting impression on you and your child, so we want to make it a good one!

Here’s what happens during your child’s first pediatric dental appointment:

1. Review medical and dental history

While your child may not have a long medical or dental history, every detail matters. The dentist may also ask for details about your dental and medical history to help him predict any future oral health problems or orthodontic issues that your child could encounter.

2. Dental cleaning or polishing and discussion about oral hygiene habits

If necessary, a dental assistant will perform a gentle dental cleaning or polishing. During this time, the assistant and dentist will also inform the parent of the best oral hygiene habits for their little one. This might include:

  • Cleaning the gums after feeding
  • Types of toothpaste
  • Baby bottle tooth decay
  • Thumb and pacifier habits
  • Cavity prevention

3. An oral exam

During this part of the appointment, your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw will be examined by the dentist to ensure they are developing properly. If there are any signs of tooth decay, he will recommend the appropriate treatment. Dental x-rays may also be taken if necessary.

When parents bring their children to the dentist regularly, he is able to track the child’s oral health development to predict and prevent future problems.

Tips for the First Visit

Though we are committed to creating a fun and positive experience for every child, there’s only so much we can do. Parents are the experts on their children, and we need their help!

Here are three tips for parents who are preparing for their child’s first visit:

  1. Schedule the appointment at a good time. You know when your little one is happiest. For many, its right after a nap or early in the morning. If possible, try to schedule his or her first visit at that time. This makes the entire appointment more pleasant for your child, you, and us.
  2. Watch a dental-themed TV show. Your child’s favorite TV show character probably has an episode about his or her first visit to the dentist. Watching that episode can help your child view the dentist’s office in a positive light and reduce any fear or anxiety.
  3. Bring comfort items. You are most likely your child’s favorite comfort item, but he probably has a favorite stuffed animal or blanket that he likes to carry around, too. Bring whatever it is along to help him feel safer and more comfortable in our chair.

Schedule Your Child’s First Visit Today

As a part of his commitment to good oral health for all children, Dr. Matt offers free cleanings and exams for children under two years old. We’re excited to have your family join ours at Smiles Dentistry for Kids!

Call us today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule your child’s first visit.

father and son

Did you know that your child should visit the dentist at least six months after his or her first tooth erupts? Whether you’re right on time or a little late, the important thing is that you are preparing your little one for their first visit to the dentist now.

For that, we want to say thank you! Thank you for prioritizing your child’s oral health. Regular visits to the dentist promote the healthy development of a child’s teeth and gums which is crucial to helping them maintain a healthy smile for the rest of their lives. And it all starts with their first visit.

To help your child prepare for their first dental visit, try these five helpful tips:

1. Schedule at An Appropriate Time

Most children are happiest right after they wake up. For this reason, scheduling an appointment in the morning or after naptime is extremely beneficial for all parties involved. A happy child makes the dental appointment much easier on the parents and the dental team. Your child will also be well-rested so you don’t have to worry about him falling asleep during the appointment.

Bonus tip: Try to show up a little early to give your child time to explore the waiting room filled with toys, games, and bright colors. This will make him feel comfortable right away!

2. Read Dental-Themed Books (Or Watch TV Shows)

Most children’s authors and TV shows have a book or episode about a character’s first visit to the dentist. Books with pictures are a great way for your child to see what a dentist’s office looks like and hear about the character’s positive experience, and a TV show can help him acclimate to the sounds of a dentist’s office.

Check out these seven picture books to get your kid ready for the dentist. These tv shows also that have an episode about visiting the dentist: Peppa Pig, Arthur, and Bubble Guppies.

3. Use Positive Language

Unfortunately, it’s very rare to hear someone speak positively about visiting the dentist. This shouldn’t be the case for your little one. Be sure to share stories about the good experiences you’ve had at the dentist and explain all the ways dentists are beneficial.

Here are four major benefits of visiting the dentist regularly:

  • Keeping teeth strong and beautiful
  • Preventing bad breath
  • Preventing cavities
  • Creating good habits

If your child is too young to understand these reasons, remember that tone of voice can tell your child a lot about a person or place. Make the dentist office a place to be excited about!

4. Bring Comfort Items

At this point, your child has probably been to the doctor quite a few times so you know exactly what he needs to feel safe. Of course, you’ll be with your child during the entire dental visit, but feel free to bring along a favorite stuffed animal or toy to make your child feel even more at home.

5. Prepare A Reward

If your little one seems overly anxious about the first visit, promise a simple reward once it’s over. This can be anything from ice cream to a visit to the park. You know what your child loves best!

Whatever the reward, your child will have something else to look forward to during the appointment. It may even take his mind off anything that’s making him nervous during the visit.

For the First Visit, Choose the Right Dentist

Selecting an experienced pediatric dentist is the best way to ensure your child has a positive first visit to the dentist. Remember, their first dental visit will have a long-lasting impression, so make it a good one!

Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt, is one of the best around! To schedule an appointment for your little one, call 913-685-9990 today.

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