Did you know that it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that a baby have their first dental visit at their first birthday or within 6 months of getting their first tooth (whichever happens first)? It’s true! Early appointments have many benefits to your baby’s oral development. But that doesn’t mean that parents may not have anxiety about that first appointment. Keep reading to learn more about how to prepare and what to expect.
Preparing for Your First Appointment
Your child may be hesitant to open their mouth for the dentist when you arrive at your appointment. Don’t worry, we see it ALL of the time and don’t mind a bit. Try practicing opening and closing your mouth along with your child at home before your appointment. This will help familiarize them with being asked to open wide, and it may even seem like a game.
Another important tip is to fill out patient forms ahead of time. When you get to the office, chances are your focus will be completely on your child. And as it should be! Filling out digital forms before you arrive can help you make sure your child stays calm and entertained while waiting for their appointment to begin. Patient forms can be filled out on our convenient Patient Portal.
Come prepared and make a list of questions to ask Dr. Cruise. We know that you have all kinds of questions about your little one’s teeth and the various products to keep them clean and healthy. Write down any questions that you have so that you don’t forget them at your appointment. One thing that might help is keeping a note in your phone of questions so that when one pops into your head, you can get it down while it is fresh on your mind.
What to Expect
Your child’s first visit to the dentist is typically a quick and easy exam. These early visits are to get an idea of your child’s oral development and help them get used to dental exams. Most importantly, these early visit allow Dr. Cruise and the staff to review best practices and common pitfalls that they see to help you and your child establish tooth friendly diet and hygiene practices. Before the exam begins, you’ll meet members of our team and Dr. Cruise. You’ll see that our offices are a fun and welcoming environment for your child and all of our patients. We want you and your children to be as relaxed as possible during every visit.
For our infant patients, Dr. Cruise will do something called a lap exam. This is where your child will sit in your lap facing you. You’ll sit knee-to-knee with the dentist and then your child will lie back on both of your knees. From this angle, Dr. Cruise will be able to do a quick exam that is noninvasive for your child.
Tips and Tricks for a Smooth First Visit
- Don’t schedule appointments during naptimes or during periods when you know your child is generally cranky.
- Give your child a low sugar snack before coming to make sure they aren’t hungry during the exam.
- Start telling your baby about visiting the dentist ahead of your visit and getting them exciting for a fun experience.
- Stay away from warning your baby not to be scared or that the visit will be pain-free. While both of these things are true, talking about it beforehand can cause your child anxiety or fear.
- Remember your insurance card if you haven’t sent a copy ahead of time.
We can’t wait to meet your family and help create happy healthy smiles for your little ones. Contact us today to set up your first appointment. If there are any questions or concerns that you have that weren’t addressed in this blog, just let us know. In fact, never hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. We want to do everything possible to make sure you and your child have a positive dental visit!