first dental visit -- woman teaching baby how to brush their teeth

5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

There are many “firsts” that parents take their children through during the early years of their lives. One of those milestones is your child’s first dental visit. The way their baby teeth grow in will affect your child’s nutritional intake and speech development, so early checkups are very important. 

At Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry, we recommend scheduling your baby’s first dental visit about six months after their first teeth cut through their gums, and no later than their first birthday. Starting to visit the dentist early on will help protect their health and also alleviate the anxiety that some small children feel about going to the dentist.

Five Ways to Prepare for Your Child’s First Dental Visit 

Our friendly dentists want to make your child’s first visit a positive experience! There are several things you can do to get ready for your child’s first dental visit to make it a fun one. When your child is prepared and excited about their first visit, they’ll know what to expect and be forming good habits for later in life.

1: Schedule at the Right Time

The best time of day for a first dental visit is a time when you know your child will be alert, well-rested, and happy. Make sure to pick a time when you know they’ll be least likely to be fussy or sleepy. This will help prevent anxiety about dental visits and make the exam go more quickly.

2: Talk to Your Child about What to Expect

It is never too early to start talking to your child about who the dentist is and what they do. Try showing them a video or reading them a book that explains what will happen while they are at the dentist, and why it’s important to take care of their teeth. You can even take your child on a virtual tour of our office before they come in for their appointment. 

3: Make It Fun

On the day of the appointment, make it a celebratory experience so your child feels comfortable and excited about their upcoming dentist trip. Continue to talk to them about how much fun the visit will be. Suggest they bring a stuffed animal or favorite toy if you think they may be nervous. When inside the office, greet the staff warmly as if they were friends and encourage your baby to do the same. If you have to sit in the waiting room for a few minutes, keep them busy by reading to them or playing with a toy. 

4: Have Your Questions Ready

During your baby’s dental exam, you’ll have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your child’s oral health and development. Your dentist will be more than happy to answer your questions and offer dental health tips

5: Schedule Your Child’s Next Appointment

It’s never too early to form good habits. Just like adults, we suggest children visit their dentist for a routine exam and dental cleaning twice a year. After your child’s first dental visit, make sure to schedule their next exam so you won’t forget!

Children’s Dentist in Peoria 

Your child’s first dental visit is an exciting time! Not only do you get to celebrate an important step in their development cycle, but they are now ready to learn healthy habits that will set them up for a flourishing life. Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry in Peoria is proud to provide gentle dental care to children of all ages. Call us at 623-487-4870 to make your baby’s first dental appointment today. 

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