We’re so glad to have pediatric dentist, Dr. Drew Popper of Junior Smiles back on the blog with a post on a very important topic: your toddler’s first trip to the dentist. I personally didn’t know what to expect, so let’s learn from the Boca Raton dental source himself!
Dr. Popper suggests that parents bring their children to their pediatric dentist at the onset of the first tooth. This way, you get to have counsel on that first visit and are made aware of what to look out for during the growing stages of your child’s initial baby teeth.
Here’s what you can expect at your first trip to the dentist:
It will be short and easy
Your child’s first trip to the dentist is a chance for your child to get to know their dentist so that he or she won’t be afraid of the regular dental visits. Your child will get to see the chair, perhaps sit in it and observe how it rotates. They can learn about tools, the mirror, and the dentist can talk to them about how they help check teeth. Think of it as quality time well invested.
There will be a simple cleaning
I like to keep this first visit as easy and stress-free as possible. A cleaning will be done and I will inspect your child’s teeth and gums all while keeping your child entertained at the same time.
Ask any questions you have
This is a chance to review good oral-hygiene habits, and to get advice on any concerns. Perhaps your child is still sucking their thumb. Or maybe you want to know about the foods that are great for their oral health. Write down any questions you can think of beforehand, and prepare a list. This is your time to get as much input as necessary.
Reduce anxiety beforehand
It helps if you prep your child for this initial visit. You can read stories or listen to songs about the dentist. But don’t make it a bigger deal than necessary. If your child has a sibling, he or she can accompany them to one dental visit, so that they know what to expect. They might even be encouraged by the toys and books in the waiting room and look forward to it!
The most important thing to remember is to stay positive yourself. Remember, you are creating the experience for your child. Your actions and reactions will be mirrored and reflected in them. This is why the first time you take your child to the dentist you should visit a dentist that you have already visited before so you are more aware of what to expect.
I recommend preparing yourself for this visit as much as possible, and then relaxing once you are actually there. Oral care can be a positive bonding experience with your child!