As a parent, you already know that children grow up fast. In fact, it will be time for your little one’s first dental checkup before you know it! The American Dental Association recommends that a child’s first dental visit should be by their first birthday, or within six months of their first tooth erupting (whichever comes first). While taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be somewhat nerve-wracking, there are plenty of things you can do to help it go as smoothly as possible. Here’s what to expect at your child’s first appointment with your Castle Rock children’s dentist and how to best prepare for it.
What To Expect During Your Child’s Appointment
In most cases, a child’s first dental checkup is short and involves very little treatment. Instead, the main focus of this visit is to simply introduce them to all the new sights, sounds, and friendly faces of their dentist’s office in a peaceful and relaxed setting. This is much more likely to help them form a positive first impression of dental care than if it was postponed until they had a cavity or toothache.
First, your dentist will carefully inspect your child’s mouth, teeth, and jaw to make sure their development is on track. They’ll be keeping a close eye out for hidden cavities, tiny cracks in the enamel, and other warning signs of early oral health issues. Sometimes, they’ll take X-rays at this appointment. Once they’ve gone over their findings with you, they’ll discuss the best ways to keep your little one’s smile healthy at home and answer whatever questions you may have. Finally, they’ll gently clean your child’s teeth until they’re gleaming and fresh!
Preparing for Your Child’s Dental Visit
You can set a good tone for your son’s or daughter’s checkup before they even reach the office! A few days or a week or two before their appointment, start talking to your child about their upcoming visit in a positive, upbeat tone. Remember, your child will look to you to see how they should react. Even if you get nervous about visiting the dentist, do your best to keep your tone calm and stay away from sharing any bad experiences you’ve had in the past.
To help your child understand more about dental care, try reading them children’s books or showing them cartoons about dental checkups. You can even practice their visit from the comfort at home! Have them sit in a chair, lean back, and open their mouth while you use a toothbrush to count their teeth out loud.
Tips for a Great First Dental Checkup
There are plenty of simple but effective ways you can help your child’s first dental checkup go as smoothly as possible, like:
- If you can, arrive early to their appointment so your child can play with the waiting room toys and get used to the office.
- Ask your dentist if your son or daughter can bring their favorite toy or blanket with them into the treatment area.
- If your child starts to cry or get fussy, stay calm. Remember that your dental team has plenty of experience handling tantrums, so follow their instructions.
Your son’s or daughter’s smile is precious, so make sure it gets the proper care it needs from the start! A great first dental checkup can set them up for a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles!
About the Practice
Castle Rock Smiles Pediatric Dentistry has been serving the growing smiles of Castle Rock and the surrounding communities for over a decade. Board-certified pediatric dentist Dr. Layne Benzley has advanced training in providing for the unique needs of young smiles and is pleased to offer a wide range of services to help keep your child’s oral development on track. He and his talented, friendly team would be thrilled to meet your little one and help ensure that their first dental appointment is as fun, educational, and pleasant as possible. To learn more, he can be contacted via his website or at (303) 660-5373.