You can prepare your child for the first visit to the dentist by:
- Reading a book about going to the dentist
- Watching a video about going to the dentist
- Visiting the office before the official appointment to meet the staff and look around
- Allowing your child to bring a favorite toy for comfort
Remember that although many adults have fears about going to a dentist, most children do not, especially if they go early. Be sure to talk to your child in a positive way about his or her first dental visit. Click here to read more about the Age 1 dental visit.
What will happen at the first dental visit?
A younger child may sit on your lap during the dental visit as follows:
- The parent will sit facing the dentist or dental hygienist.
- The child will lie facing you with his or her head in the dentist or dental hygienist’s lap.
- You will be able to hold hands with and talk to your child.
- Your child may fuss or cry, but that is ok. It makes it easier to see inside the baby’s mouth. The exam will be over in just a few minutes.
If your child is older, he or she may sit in the dental chair for a gentle exam.
During your visit, the dentist or hygienist may:
- Clean your child’s teeth
- Provide a fluoride treatment
- Perform an x-ray
- Make suggestions on how to best care for your child’s mouth
- Say that you should come back in six months for another dental checkup