Your Child's First Visit - Airdrie, AB Dentists
According to the Canadian Dental Association's recommendations, infants should initially visit the dentist around the time of their first birthday. First visits can be stressful for parents, especially. It is important for parents to continually communicate positive messages about dental visits (especially the first one) and to help the child feel as happy as possible about visiting the dentist.
How can I prepare for my child’s first dental visit?
- Take another adult along for the visit – Sometimes infants become fussy when having their mouths examined. Having another adult along to soothe the infant allows the parent to ask questions and to attend to any advice the dentist may have.
- Leave other children at home – Other children can distract the parent and cause the infant to fuss. Leaving other children at home (when possible) makes the first visit less stressful for all concerned.
- Avoid threatening language – Dentists and staff are trained to avoid the use of threatening language, like drills, needles, injections, and bleeding. It is important for parents to use positive language when speaking about dental treatment with their child.
- Provide positive explanations – It is important to explain the purposes of the dental visit in a positive way. Explaining that the dentist “helps to keep teeth healthy” is far better than explaining that the dentist “is checking for tooth decay, and may have to drill the tooth if decay is found.”
- Explain what will happen – Anxiety can be vastly reduced if the child knows what to expect. Age-appropriate books about visiting the dentist can be very helpful in making the visit seem fun. Here is a list of parent and dentist-approved books:
- Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist – Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series.
- Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi.
- Elmo Visits the Dentist – Part of the “Sesame Street” Series.
Goals for your child's first Visit
- To have the dentist and your child get acquainted.
- To monitor your child's tooth and jaw development.
- To evaluate the health of your child's teeth and gums.
- To answer any questions you may have regarding your child's oral health.