Whether it’s baby’s first time walking, first word, or first visit to the dentist, it’s always an exciting occasion to see your child experience new things.
And at Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry, we want to make sure your toddler has the best experience possible when it comes to their first visit to the dentist. Keeping those baby teeth healthy is important to ensure that their grownup teeth will come in nice and straight.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to teach your little one to brush their teeth at least twice a day. This is going to take practice, and as mommy and daddy, you’ll want to set the example.
Next, book their first dentist appointment at Little Heroes, so that our sidekicks can make sure the development of their teeth is going well. Here are some common questions about your tot’s first visit to the dentist
How old should my Little Hero be when I first take them to the dentist?
It’s generally recommended that your toddler should have their first dentist appointment within six months after his or her first tooth has come in, or by the time they turn one. However, if you see some issues with their baby teeth, such as discoloration, you’ll want to take them in sooner.
How do I choose my child’s dentist?
Mom and Dad will usually take their baby to their own personal dentist. This can be a good option if your dentist has experience with toddlers and young children. However, you may want to consider taking them to a pediatric dentistry like Little Heroes. Our team of dentists and sidekicks have special training in children’s oral health and our offices are kid friendly.
Is there a difference between pediatric and regular dentists?
A pediatric dentist will have additional years of training that focus on management, development of children’s teeth, child behavior, and understanding the special needs of children’s dentistry. While either type of dentist will be capable of handling your tot’s oral healthcare needs, a pediatric office will have staff and an environment that caters specifically to children.
What should I expect at my child’s first dental visit?
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be a relatively simple and pleasant experience that shouldn’t involve much treatment. The first visit will work like more along the lines of a meet-and-greet with the dentist. The idea is to give your child an opportunity to visit a dental office, but in a non-threatening way.
Depending on how old your child is, you may be asked to hold them while the dentist examines their teeth. If the child is a little older, you may be asked to hang back in the waiting room so that your Little Hero can get quality one-on-one time with the dentist and staff. The idea is to build up your child’s comfort level when visiting the dentist so they can receive treatment on their own.
When inspecting your child’s teeth, the Little Heroes dentist will check to make sure that those little chompers are clean and healthy, as well as take a look at their gums, jaw, and bite. If necessary, a dentist or hygienist may gently clean your child’s teeth and apply a suitable fluoride treatment to help protect against stains or cavities.
A Little Heroes dentist will also provide you some information about good oral-hygiene habits and answer any questions you may have. Dentist might talk with you about:
- Toddler teething
- Thumb sucking
- Good oral hygiene practices
- Cavity prevention
- Tooth-friendly foods
- Development milestones
If you have some question, don’t be afraid to bring them up to your dentist’s attention.
How can I make my child’s dentist visit better?
Your child’s first visit to the dentist may be a bit scary for you. Your little one isn’t automatically going to have a fear of going to the dentist, so make sure you don’t spook them any about the trip. Keeping your negative feelings in check can do wonders for their own confidence about the visit.
Naturally, some toddlers might have a bit of anxiety about going to a dental checkup, but there are a few tips and tricks that you can do before the appointment to help them relax a little more:
- Be positive—Explain to them how much “fun” the visit to the dentist is going to be and how they are going to help your little one build health, strong teeth.
- Read a couple of picture books—There are a ton of books and videos available to parents and tots to help prepare for the “big day.” Read some picture books about visiting the dentist so they can know what sights they can expect, or watch a cutesy little cartoon video to help ease the stress of the trip.
- Role-play—Children love to role-play and it helps to prepare them for real world scenarios, so get a couple of stuffed animals and dolls together, and play dentist.
- Keep them comforted—A favorite toy or stuffed animal can keep them calm and distracted while in the waiting room or in the dentist’s chair.
- Reward them—You won’t necessarily want to reward a trip to the dentist with a treat or snack, but doing something as simple as a trip to the playground after the dental visit can help them see the experience as positive.
- Parents! Stay calm—Your attitude about the dentist is going to affect your little one’s so make sure to be calm and cheerful. Your child will see your cool demeanor and this will help to keep them relaxed as well.
After the examination, and depending on the state of your child’s teeth, your dentist will let you know when to make the next appointment. Most dentists like to see children every six months, assuming there isn’t any major problems, to effectively monitor the development of the teeth and to snip any issues in the bud before they become serious.
Make baby’s first visit to the dentist special by going to Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry.
Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry strives to provide your child with the best experiences possible. We work hard to make your child feel safe, comfortable, and empowered. Give us a call today at any of our South Texas offices in Laredo, San Juan, or Mission to find out why some many families love us.