Is It Too Early to Take My Child to the Dentist?

The average recommendation is to make the appointment for when the child is 6 months to 1-year-old.

A visit to the dentist generally isn’t anyone’s favorite way to pass the time. And if you think of a restless toddler who puts on a tantrum just because his socks are blue, going to the dentist’s office may seem like an impossible mission. Plus, is it really needed? Their baby teeth are sparkling clean and they will be replaced soon anyway. Why bother with a possibly traumatic experience like that?

child at the dentist

The following might change your mind about oral health education or reinforce what you already planned about it.

The vast majority of dentists in America agree that the first visit to the dentist should be done early, some even expecting the child into the cabinet when the very first tooth appears. The average recommendation is to make the appointment for when the child is 6 months to 1 year old.

What Happens on the First Visit?

The very first visit you make to your St. Louis pediatric dentist’s office is more about getting the child used to the environment, having them acquainted with the doctor and reinforce the oral hygiene lessons you’ve been practicing at home. The dentist will gently introduce your child to the medical equipment, let him get comfy on the chair and talk to both of you.

The first visit is meant to get the child relaxed in this environment and to inform the parent about the correct way of cleaning the child’s teeth, how to encourage cooperation and what to be on the lookout for.

Some dentists, if all goes well, can perform a gentle cleanse and get rid of plaque and other deposits on the teeth. That is a great way of teaching the child that they will not be hurt when on the dentist’s chair and that oral health is extremely important.

How to Make the First Visit Successful

Your approach prior to the first visit depends a lot on the child’s age. An older child – 3 or 4 years old – can understand simple explanations about the importance of oral health and clean teeth. A one-year-old won’t be so easy to reason with, right? But don’t worry, there are other tricks to make them excited about going to the dentist.

Get them toy dentist utensils and have their dolls and teddies get some routine “dental procedures”. Bring their favorite toys to the cabinet and let them participate. Older siblings can also be of great help in this situations, showing their little brother or sister that they are calm and comfortable. Rewarding good behavior at the dentist is also a good idea.

St. Louis Pediatric Dentist

Most importantly, if you are calm and positive about their first visit to your St. Louis pediatric dentist, your child will handle the event much better. Here’s to healthy teeth!

Give us a call today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!

Call (314) 862-7844

Updated: May 31, 2024

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