A child’s first time at the dentist is an important milestone in their development, but when should you schedule their first visit?
Read on for the answer, as well as lots of other useful tips to keep your child’s teeth and mouth in great condition…for life!
It’s never too early!
The quick answer to when to take your child to the dentist for the first time is as early as possible! That’s because they don’t need to have a full set of teeth to benefit from their first check-up. Your dentist will check out the whole picture of their oral health and identify any issues before they develop into problems.
Make their first appointment before their first birthday for the best chance of setting up good dental habits that last a lifetime.
What will happen on the first visit?
When you take your child to the dentist for the first time, they will get an idea about their medical history and overall health and wellbeing.
Then, your dentist will take a gentle look inside your child’s mouth to check out how their teeth are developing and for any possible issues.
They will also offer you advice on thumbsucking, brushing and avoiding decay through good habits and a healthy diet.
How to make their first visit easier
Visiting the dentist for the first time doesn’t have to be daunting. Here’s what you can do to make it as enjoyable as possible for your child:
- Let them know that it’s nothing to be worried about.
- Explain what will happen once they get there.
- Carry out dentist role-plays at home, taking it in turns to be the dentist.
- Explain how important it is to have healthy teeth and gums.
- Find a dentist who’s experienced in looking after children and will instantly put them at ease.
Tips for looking after your child’s teeth at home
Dental care at home is just as important as regular visits to the dentist. And the more you can get your child involved, the better. It will give them a sense of pride in their own well-being and set them up with good habits for life.
Here’s what you can do to look after your child’s dental health at home:
- Get them used to brushing as soon as their first tooth comes through. You can start by using a clean, damp cloth and progress to a toothbrush as they grow.
- Let your child choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste to give them a sense of pride in keeping their teeth clean.
- As soon as they are old enough, let your child clean their own teeth with supervision from you.
- Create a reward chart with a sticker for every time they brush their teeth.
- Offer them tooth-friendly foods and drinks like fruit, water and milk. Save sugary food for special occasions.
- Lead by example by keeping up a great oral routine yourself.
Bring your little one to see us at Opal Dental
We’d love to meet your little one here at Opal Dental. Our experienced professionals offer a range of dentistry options in our Te Atatu clinic, including children’s dental services.
You can reach out to us by phone or via our online booking system to secure an appointment, starting a lifetime of healthy smiles!