The First Trip to the Dentist

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be a scary occasion for both you and your toddler. By 2 ½ most children have cut all of their baby teeth, so toddlerhood is a great time to start practicing positive dental habits.newborn baby girl sleeping on her stomach

Many dentists recommend that kids see a dentist after their first birthday, have two checkups a year, and engage in proper care at home. Once your child is more cognizant in toddlerhood they might be scared to visit the dentist. Strange instruments, loud noises and new faces can easily upset a 2-year-old. However, there are ways to make the first trip to the dentist a fun experience!

  • Take your child to a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry. They tend to have more “kid-friendly” activities to placate your child. Ask your dentist to recommend a good dentist who specializes in children.

  • Talk to your child about what is going to happen. Practice brushing with your child beforehand, too. So he or she will be used to having a toothbrush in her mouth.

  • To make sure your child feels comfortable, introduce them to the dentist on his first visit. Good pediatric dentists will explain each step of the checkup with your child, show them the instruments they’re using, and make them feel at ease.

  • Using oversized brushes and puppets, the dentist should show your child how to brush with your help.

  • During the cleaning and polishing give your child sunglasses so they can feel like a “dental rockstar” when getting their teeth cleaned.

  • Most pediatric dentists will have a “grab bag” filled with prizes when the procedure is finished. Prizes are a wonderful way to get children to think of the dentist’s office as a fun place. Just avoid getting ice cream on the ride home!