How Do I Prepare My Child For Their First Dental Visit? - The Medford Center

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Medford, MA 02155

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How Do I Prepare My Child For Their First Dental Visit?

added on: March 20, 2023

If you’re starting to think about your child’s first dental visit, chances are you have a lot of questions, and rightfully so. From when kids should have their first dental appointment to what to expect during your visit, rest assured knowing that your pediatric dentist in Medford is a pro at first dental visits and is here to help answer all of your questions. 

First Birthday, First Dental Visit 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all children see a certified pediatric dentist within six months of getting their first tooth or no later than their first birthday. Early exposure to a pediatric dentist can help develop a positive relationship with dental care and set kids up for a positive attitude when it comes to dentistry. Additionally, seeing your pediatric dentist early in life can help catch oral health problems when they’re small and easier to treat. For example, many kids get cavities as early as age 2, and the occurrence of cavities in preschool-aged children is on the rise — more than 1 in 4 have had at least one cavity by age 4. 

How to Prepare

A child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Thankfully, we have some tips to help you out. 

  • Roll Play

Incorporating dentistry into playtime can help your child feel at ease once they’re in the dental office. Using your imagination, pretend to be a dentist and count your child’s teeth while you explain what you’re doing. Then, switch roles and allow them to count your teeth. You can even use a toy or stuffed animal to let your child practice brushing and flossing or use the toy to show what will happen at the dentist. 

  • Be Positive

Even if you’ve had negative experiences at a dental office or have dental anxiety, it’s important to talk to your child positively about dental care and dental visits. After all, kids absorb attitudes and information from their parents, so even if you’re not a fan of the dentist, don’t show it in front of your child. If your kid is nervous about their visit, let them know that it’s normal to feel uneasy about things they haven’t done before while giving them plenty of positive reinforcement.

What to Expect

The first visit to a pediatric dentist in Medford will include several things, often starting off with an exam. Your pediatric dentist will visually check the teeth, bite, gums, and jaw to look for any areas of concern as well as monitor tooth development. The dental team may also chat with you and your child about some ways to help keep your child’s teeth healthy in between office visits. Some of these items may include: 

  • Tooth brushing tips
  • Appropriate use of fluoride
  • Teething
  • Oral habits like thumb sucking
  • Nutrition for healthy teeth

Following the visit, your child’s dentist will recommend a schedule of how often you should come back for regular exams. The schedule varies depending on your child’s need and level of cavity risk. Typically, pediatric dentists recommend visits every six months, but this is different for each kid.

If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Medford for your child, call us today to schedule an appointment.