Here at Southern Maine Pediatric Dentistry, we are proud to take care of your child’s dental health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that children have their first dental appointment when they are close to their first birthday.
Many people put off a child’s first dental appointment because it can be quite stressful for both the child and the parents. However, in order to start a child off right on the road to good dental health, it is important that parents overcome their own phobias and make sure that the first visit goes well. They need to remain positive in order to ensure their child has a good visit every time he or she goes to the dentist.
Pediatric dentists also want your child’s visits to go well. They receive extensive training in child psychology. They make sure their offices are inviting. They choose colorful paints for the walls. They have a selection of games, toys, and books for when children are waiting to be seen. They hire staff members who are good with children so that each visit goes well.
How can a parent prepare for their children’s first visit?
Parents need to stay positive. They need to tell their children that the dentist keeps their teeth healthy. They should not use words like cavities, decay, drill, needles, or any other scary words. Even dentists try to avoid those words during the visit to make sure it remains positive.
If parents have other children in addition to the one being seen, it can be beneficial to leave them at home. Too much commotion in the office can make it hard for a child to sit still. It may also help to bring another adult along, that way one adult can hold the child while the other listens and asks questions.
It is always helpful if a child knows what to expect during a visit. There are many books on the topic that you may want to read with your child to help reduce any anxiety he or she may be feeling. The Berenstain Bears, Dora the Explorer, and even Elmo are all featured in books about going to the dentist.
For their first visit, your child will get to meet and become acquainted with the dentist. Then the dentist will look at the development of his or her teeth and jaws. The dentist may ask questions to figure out the child’s overall health history. After that the dentist will determine the health of the existing teeth and gums. Finally, the dentist will answer any questions and help you formulate a home care regimen for your child.
If you have any questions or would like to set up your child’s first dental visit, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (207) 773-3111.