Did you know your child can get cavities as soon as they get their first tooth? So starting when your child gets their first tooth, but not later than their first birthday, it’s time to see a pediatric dentist.
Not only does this allow your dental team to identify any early dental problems, but it also gets your child used to visiting the dentist, which can help stave off dental anxiety down the road. Here, we cover what to expect at your first visit and how to help a child scared of the dentist.
What to Expect at a Pediatric Dental Visit
Visiting a pediatric dentist differs from seeing a dentist who works with adults. Pediatric dentists know visiting the dentist can be scary, so they work with their team to create a welcoming, child-friendly environment that helps parents and children relax. Pediatric dentists have longer appointment windows and work with parents to choose a good time slot for them and their children.
The first dental visit is more about introducing your child to the dentist than performing any cleaning or treatments. While your dentist will check your child’s teeth for any signs of decay or issue, your first pediatric dental visit with your child is about introducing them to the dentist and getting them familiar with the sounds of the dental office.
The sooner your child visits the dentist, and the more often they’re in the office, the less likely they’ll develop a fear of dentistry, meaning starting dental care young can benefit their dental and emotional health.
How to Help Your Child with Dental Anxiety
If your child is scared of the dentist, there are some ways you can help. First, schedule a time when your child is most active for their appointment. Interrupting their daily nap or feeding schedule to visit the dentist can cause more anxiety and make them fussy. After all, no one likes going to the dentist hungry or tired!
Talk to your dental team about ways to make dental care less stressful for your child, such as longer appointments, fun toys, books, or even children’s shows about dental care. In addition, there are plenty of ways to familiarize your child with visiting the dentist before their first appointment, so take the time to introduce the idea of dental care slowly and at home.
A good pediatric dentist will work with your child to introduce them to every step of the dental care procedure at a level they can understand. Depending on how old your child is, they may let them see all the different tools they use or find fun ways to distract them while looking at their teeth. Work with your dental team to find a comfortable solution for your child, as being comfortable with dental care can benefit them and their smile for their whole life.
Check out Cohen Family Smiles if you’re looking for a welcoming pediatric dentist. Our team of dental professionals works hard to make our practice fun and welcoming to patients of all ages. Call us at (914) 245-2965 to find out more or schedule an appointment.