When it comes to your child’s “firsts,” it can be an exciting time, but it can also feel like an awful lot of unknowns: What new milestone will he/she reach? Where and when will the event happen? At Kangaroo Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we know all about the what, where, when and whys of “firsts.” That’s why, when it comes to kids first dentist visit insights, we’re here to help unveil at least some of the wonder and mystery surrounding those precious “firsts.”
Kids First Dentist Visit Tips That Parents Are Sure to Appreciate
Although the thought of a child’s first dentist visit may not seem like a joyous occasion at first glance, it can be a positive and even exciting experience for both you and your child, especially if you know what to expect. So before getting into the what, where and when of kids first dentist visit tips, let’s take a look at why it’s important to schedule your child’s first pediatric dental check-up shortly after his/her first birthday.
There are a few reasons why the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children have their first dental visit close to the time the first tooth comes in or by their first birthday. Taking your child to the pediatric dentist before he/she is a toddler comes with several benefits, including:
- Early Intervention for Potential Dental Issues
- Pediatric dentists like Dr. Mona are specially trained in identifying any developmental issues involving the teeth, gums, jaw and mouth. Plus, seeing the dentist during later stages of infancy and early toddlerhood gives parents the opportunity to ask important questions surrounding thumb-sucking, pacifiers and other habits that may impact how the teeth develop.
- A Jump on Good Oral Hygiene Practices
- A pediatric dentist can help reinforce parents’ home-care dental routines and help guide them through best oral hygiene practices specific to toddlerhood.
- An Opportunity to Establish a Dental Home
- The earlier you can acclimate your child to the dentist, the better off you’ll both be. At Kangaroo Smiles, we cater to families with children by providing a safe, comfortable and fun environment. Having a dental home in which kids feel welcome helps them associate dental visits with a positive experience that they will become accustomed to liking.
Now that we’ve covered why it’s important to schedule a kid’s first dentist visit at an early age, let’s take a look at what parents can expect during a first dental check up:
- Dental assessment of your child’s developing teeth and mouth
- Comprehensive cleaning
- Fluoride varnish of all teeth
Dr. Mona will discuss every step of the check-up with you and your child to ensure that everyone understands what’s happening and to alleviate any concerns along the way.
Let’s Talk More Tricks for An Amazing First Dental Visit
Knowing more about what to expect during a kid’s first dentist visit can help reduce the feeling of facing the unknown. To help you prepare even further for your child’s first dental visit, take a look at some helpful tricks that can assist in promoting a positive experience:
- Make sure your child is rested and that his/her first dental appointment doesn’t conflict with naptime
- Schedule your child’s first trip to the dentist at a time when you know she/he will have a full tummy. Depending on his/her age, Dr. Mona may apply a fluoride varnish that will need time to settle into teeth before eating or drinking (usually about an hour)
- Bring a comfort item (favorite blanket, plushy or toy) with you to the appointment
- Talk to your child beforehand in a way that he/she can understand
- Have your child watch a video or read a book that highlights what it’s like to visit the dentist
Where to Go (But We Think You’ll Know!)
We’d love for you to come see Dr. Mona and the Kangaroo Smiles professional, friendly and skilled team of hygienists and office staff for your child’s first dental visit. The Kangaroo Smiles Pediatric Dentistry offices in Lowell and Methuen have become the dental homes for many local families. Parents and children love the gentle approach of Dr. Mona and the kid-friendly atmosphere is bound to be a hit with everyone!
If you’d like to set up an appointment and learn more about how you can and prep for your child’s first visit to the dentist, please contact us today at (978) 425-1496.