Hello, I am Sonya, a Registered Dental Hygienist with Hughes and Hughes Family Dentistry.
Every milestone is exciting and your child’s first tooth is no exception. But when is it time to take your little one for his first dental visit? While dental care should start at home as soon as that first tooth erupts, unless you have questions or concerns, our doctors will recommend that we see your child around two years of age. It’s around this time that most children will be close to a fully erupted primary dentition- all twenty teeth.
Many parents are anxious about the first dental visit for their child and how they will respond. Whether it’s the moving dental chair or the instruments in their mouth, most of what happens at the dental office will likely be a first for your child. Let’s talk about what you can expect at that first visit.
Our goal is always to make those first visits a positive experience for your child. Our doctors and staff are experienced in caring for all ages. Often we label that first appointment for our youngest patients as a “happy visit.” This is to keep expectations on both ends reasonable. As much as it is possible, our dental exam and treatment is based only on what your child is ready for. The foundation for establishing your child’s lifelong and healthy relationship with their dental provider starts with good experiences each time they visit our office. We commit to making that our top priority alongside providing excellent dental care.
During that first visit, our goal is to accomplish as much of the following as needed and as your child feels comfortable:
- Introduce them to our equipment such as the dental chair, light, mirror, saliva ejector (Mr. Thirsty), polisher, etc.
- Examine (“count”) teeth
- Instrumentation (only if necessary)
- Fluoride varnish treatment
- X-rays (bitewings) if 4 years old or if showing signs of decay
- Exam with doctor
- Education with you and your child
As with any patient, we always aim to tell and show your child what to expect throughout the visit so that there are no surprises. As a hygienist, I often hear parents worry that their child won’t cooperate for the exam and cleaning. If that is the case, that’s ok! It doesn’t take many visits before we see children get more and more comfortable and the six-month checkup becomes an easy routine.
What can you do to help the first dental visit be a success?
- Speak positively of your own experiences at the dental office
- Create healthy dental habits at home
- Talk about the fun things that will happen throughout the appointment, such as choosing toothpaste flavors, a ride in the dental chair, and picking out a new toothbrush
What other questions do you have about your child’s first visit? We’re here to answer any question you might have – please call 610-942-3321. We can’t wait to meet your little one!