Make Your Child's First Dental Visit Stress Free

Your child's first dental visit is an exciting milestone, and there's no reason it should be frightening. As long as you properly prepare your child in advance, you are both likely to have a stress-free visit.

Start Young

According to the experts at Colgate, your child should have his first dentist appointment by his first birthday. Indeed, studies have shown an increased occurrence of cavities in preschool-aged children. Taking your child to the dentist within six months of getting his first tooth will allow your dental professional to assess his cavity risk and explain the best ways to prevent tooth decay. It will also get your child used to going to the dentist; thus, minimizing potential fear in the future.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene at Home

According to the American Dental Assocation (ADA), babies are at risk for dental decay as soon as their teeth begin to emerge. The ADA recommends starting to gently wipe your baby's gums with a damp washcloth a few days after he is born. This should be done daily.

As soon as the first tooth comes through, start brushing it with a child-size toothbrush and water. Once the child is two, begin adding a pea-sized drop of fluoride toothpaste to the brush.

Set a Good Example

If possible, take your child with you when you go to the dentist (making sure you have an older child or another adult who can watch your little one while you're in the chair). You can also let your child watch as his older siblings have exams or dental work done.

At home, you can establish good oral care habits by brushing and flossing with your child. If he sees dental visits and daily dental hygiene routines as normal occurrences, he will be much less afraid to visit the dentist when it's his turn.

Read Together

Hit your local bookstore or public library to pick up books and videos about oral care and going to the dentist. Look for books with familiar characters, and check out YouTube for videos featuring your child's favorite characters.

Doing your best to make your child feel safe and comfortable during his first dentist appointment can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy dental practice.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Top Tips for Good Oral Care During Childhood

  • Brushing and flossing
    Begin using toothpaste to brush your child's teeth when he (or she) is 2 years old. Young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, rather than spitting it out. Introduce fluoride toothpaste when your child is old enough not to swallow it. As soon as two teeth touch each other, floss between them once a day. You can use regular floss or special plastic floss holders.

  • Dental visit
    New parents often ask, "When should my child first see a dentist?” Your child should see a dentist by his or her first birthday.

Brushing can be fun!

Brushing teeth with kids toothpastes and toothbrushes can be a fun activity. Check out our products to choose the one right for your child