Is your child ready for their first dentist visit? Take a look at the top questions parents have about this important first step towards a lifetime of dental health.
When Should You Schedule Your Child's First Dental Visit?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children should go to the dental office after their first tooth erupts. If this doesn't happen by their first birthday, you should contact the office about when to schedule an appointment.
How Long Will the Visit Last?
The answer to this question depends on the dental practice and your child's needs. If your child struggles to sit still, has separation anxiety, or doesn't want to cooperate with the office's team, expect a shorter visit. But if your child will allow the dental professionals to examine and clean their teeth, the appointment could last for half an hour or longer.
Should Parents Go Into the Exam Room?
A very young child may feel uncomfortable or nervous about their first dental visit. To decrease stress and make this new activity easy for your child, sit with them in the exam room. The office staff may suggest that you sit in the exam chair with your child—especially if you have a young toddler.
Not only can your presence add a sense of calm and comfort, but you may have questions you want to ask. A trip into the exam room with your child gives you the chance to talk to the dental professionals, ask questions, and learn more about your child's mouth.
What Types of Questions Should Parents Ask?
You may want to know more about your child's dental health, but you aren't sure where to start. This is your first experience with pediatric dentistry, and you need to ask the right questions during the time your child is in the dental office's chair.
The specific questions you ask depend on your child and their individual needs. These could include questions that focus on when the rest of your child's primary teeth will appear, at what age your child will start to lose their primary teeth, how to prevent dental decay, how to care for your child's new teeth, what foods to eat or avoid, and how often your child should visit the office.
Will Your Child Need an X-Ray?
If your child doesn't have an existing problem, it's not likely they'll need an X-ray on their first visit. But if your child has a recent dental injury, decay, or another oral care issue, the dentist may recommend this type of diagnostic test.
To learn more, contact a dentist.