We love children! The ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that a dentist sees a child when teeth first erupt, or at least by their first birthday. We suggest that you bring your child to one of your hygiene appointments before they are 3 years old.
We have found that it isn’t necessary to have a child have their own appointment before age three, but that they accompany a parent or sibling for one of their appointments after age 2.
This is a great opportunity to allow the child to get accustomed to the office and the equipment that we use. It is also a time to demonstrate to the child that a dental visit is a positive experience. Here are 7 suggestion to make your child’s first dental visit easier:
- Bring them to your hygiene visit to show them how easy an appointment is.
- Explain what a dentist does in simple, positive terms.
- “Play” dentist at home, giving the child a sense of what the dentist will do.
- Describe dental instruments and how they help the dentist.
- Explain that xrays “take pictures” of the teeth.
- Never bribe a child to visit the dentist or use the threat of a visit as punishment.
- Above all, parents should be careful to not pass on any fears of the dentist to their children.