I’m sure that you are not the only parent out there who has a million questions about your child’s first dental visit! Well, with help from the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario and tips from a few professionals, we will let you know everything you need to know about this ‘Happy Visit’. It is recommended by professionals that your baby have their first visit roughly around the time of their first birthday, or shortly after the primary teeth have erupted (CDHO, n.d). This is because “Almost all children at this age have an oral environment at risk for disease” (CDHO, n.d.). Why is it so important for a child to visit the Dentist so early you ask? According to the American Dental Association, “A dentist can show you how to clean your child’s teeth, discuss diet and fluoride needs and recommend oral care products,” (ADA, 2013). We spoke with an experienced Dental Assistant who assists the Dentist during these very first visits and she was able to give us a quick list of what to expect and how to prepare for your child’s first visit!
- One of the biggest purposes of a “happy visit” (your child’s first trip to the dentist), is for the child to be introduced to the setting and meet the dental team.
- It is best to arrive only a little bit early for you appointment, as the children do not always do well if having to wait a long period of time.
- Once the child is brought in, he/she will be introduced to the assistant as well as the Dentist.
- It will take a few moments for the child to adjust to the treatment room and more than likely will be a little unsure at this point! We suggest holding a parent/guardian’s hand throughout this process.
- The child will be shown a lot of different equipment and tools and be encouraged to explore all senses.
- The child will normally sit on the parent’s lap, who will be in a knee-to-knee position with the Dentist. The child’s head will then rest on the Dentist’s knees so that he/she can have a good look in the mouth.
- The treatment that is provided throughout the appointment is only decided on how co-operative the child is. It will only continue as long as it still is a positive experience for the child.
- The Dentist will decide on treatment from there and decide when it's time for the next visit.
- Before leaving, the Dentist will review home oral hygiene instructions for the parent and discuss any concerns they may have.
Dr. Johnson, J. (2013). Your Child's First Dental Visit. Retrieved November 20, 2015, from http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publicat