Starting your child out at the dentist young is the best way to establish good oral care habits and to acclimate your child to the dentist office for stress-free visits throughout their life.
How to Prepare for First Pediatric Dentist Visit
Visit at Early Age.
By having your child visit at an early age, the dentist’s office will be a familiar. Your child will be comfortable there as they grow up, and especially if there is a dental emergency that happens. Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Adam Pollock recommends the first visit by the age of 2, unless there is a concern earlier on.
Play Dentist at Home.
Help your child be more comfortable when the time comes for their first visit by practicing at home. Tell them that you are going to count their teeth, just like the dentist will. Use a toothbrush to lightly tap each tooth and start counting. Examine your child’s teeth with a mirror.
Stay Calm and Positive
While preparing for your child’s first dentist appointment, be positive and encouraging. Equally important during the visit, stay calm and positive. Your child can tell if you are anxious.
What to Expect at First Pediatric Dentist Visit
The first visit will be short. The assistants and the dentist will be very accommodating to your child, putting them (and you) at ease. For my son’s first visit at Dr. Adam Pollock D.D.S, I was more nervous than he was. The staff were very welcoming to both me and my son which calmed me down.
Alone or with Parent
Depending on the age of your child and temperament, you may or may not go back into the dentist area with your child. First time visits with young children, the dentist may exam your child’s teeth knee to knee. You have your child sit on your lap facing you, the dentist sits knee to knee with you. Your child will lay back into the dentist’s lap. This will allow the child to feel secure in your lap, while the dentist does the exam.
Our dentist leaves it up to the parent but encourages older children to go back on their own. After each visit, our dentist meets one-on-one with the parent to go over the visit.
The dental hygienist and dentist will examine the teeth, gums, and oral tissues. A gentle cleaning is given and generally finished with a fluoride treatment. They may take x-rays – or “pictures” of your child’s teeth as well. They will also talk to mom and dad about proper oral habits at home.
Avoid bribing your child before the visit by saying “if you don’t cry, you can have a sucker after.” This will raise questions in your child’s mind about why they might cry in the first place! Plus, sugary treats sends the wrong message when it comes to clean, healthy teeth. Praise your child after the visit. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Pollock will let your child pick out a prize from the prize corner to reward them as well. Your child will look forward to this for each following visit.
While at your appointment, go ahead and schedule your next appointment for 6 months later. Having consistent oral care at home and regular visits at the dentist will create a more stress-free view on dentistry from childhood through adulthood. It is recommended children (and adults) be seen twice annually.
In Akron, Ohio Area?
Are you in the Akron, Ohio area? If so, may I suggest our pediatric dentist, Dr. Adam Pollock. We have received excellent care each and every visit and my children never complain about going to the dentist. They really make children (and parents) feel comfortable and stress-free.
Dr. Adam Pollock D. D.S. Pediatric Dentistry
1707 Portage Trail
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
Summer office hours are:
Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry is conveniently located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, just minutes from Akron, Stow, Munroe Falls, Kent, Hudson, Peninsula, Tallmadge, Ellet, Copley, and Fairlawn, Ohio.