Your child’s first dental visit can set the stage for how he or she feels about going to the dentist for years to come. This is something we understand well at Upper East Side Kids Smiles. Our office is kid-friendly, with smaller furniture and age-appropriate games and toys in the waiting room. Our Team speaks to every child in a patient, respectful manner without ‘talking down’ to them. When it comes time for their appointment, we explain what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Infants and ‘pre-verbal’ children can sit with a parent to make them feel more secure.
When is the Best Time to Schedule My Child’s First Dental Appointment?
We agree with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that infants should visit the dentist by their first birthday, or within six months of their first tooth eruption.
How Can I Help My Child Feel Comfortable About Visiting the Dentist?
Your child will pick up on your anxiety if you feel nervous about visiting the dentist yourself. Approach the appointment in a matter-of-fact way and explain what will happen in a calm tone of voice. Keep in mind that using words such as drill or needle can make children envision the worst, thereby increasing their anxiety. You should also encourage your child to talk about any fears he or she is feeling. For very young children, role-playing the dental appointment with dolls can be especially helpful.
What should I Expect During My Child’s First Dental Visit?
We will ask you to complete a medical and dental history on your child and review it for accuracy during his or her first appointment. Our dentist will then complete a thorough oral examination and let you know the results right away. We also provide parents with guidance on developing an oral hygiene routine, the importance of good nutrition, and the consequences of extended oral habits like thumb sucking.