What will happen at my baby’s first trip to the dentist?

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How to Handle Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

Let’s face it for a child the idea of going to the dentist may be a scary proposition, however, it doesn’t have to be. With proper planning and coaching it can be a very beneficial experience that sets the stage for good long-term oral hygiene habits.

Your child’s first dental visit should ideally be about 6 months after the first tooth erupts or before their first birthday. Before this appointment it would be a good idea to coach your child to prepare them for this appointment by explaining to them what can be expected at the first visit. If you are unsure it is a good idea to talk to your dentist directly and ask what will be involved in this appointment.

Generally, the first visit is simply an introduction to the dental office and a ‘test drive’ of the dental chair. If your child is feeling comfortable, dental x-rays are taken, with a cleaning and gentle but comprehensive dental examination. But if they are anxious, we recommend rescheduling for another day. We want this to be a pleasant experience that sets a good tone for future visits.  

Things that Dr. McCormick will be looking for during the first visit are:

  • eruption of teeth
  • health of the gums

Proper oral hygiene will also be discussed.   To clean your child’s teeth use a warm damp cloth after feeding and avoiding baby bottle tooth decay by not allowing a child to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice at night.  Most importantly, how you as the parent can reinforce proper brushing and flossing techniques by setting an example.

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