Happy Child Getting Teeth Cleaned

How to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Dentist Appointment

Dr. Siew Tan

Dr. Siew Tan

Teaching your kids proper oral hygiene sets them up for a lifetime of strong and healthy teeth and gums. Regular dental visits play an important part in this. However, many parents worry about taking their kids to the dentist for the first time. Here are some tips to ensure the visit goes as well as possible.
When should my child see the dentist for the first time?

The Canadian Dental Association recommends that children have their first dentist appointment within six months of getting their first tooth or before their first birthday.The goal of this first visit isn’t to get dental work done. Instead, it’s to get the child used to the environment of a dentist’s office and for the dentist to perform a quick examination. Following this first appointment, kids should see the dentist twice a year.

Tips for Making it Easier on Everyone

To make sure the appointment is a success, keep these tips in mind:

  • Time it right. Make the appointment at a time of day when you know your child will be alert and in a good mood. For many kids, the morning is the best time.
  • Teach them what to expect. Prepare young kids by reading stories about going to the dentist and take turns looking at each other’s teeth. You should also explain to them beforehand what they can expect will happen.
  • Take them with you. The next time you have an appointment to have your teeth cleaned, bring your child along. They’ll see that there’s nothing to worry about.
  • Leave your anxieties at home. Children are very perceptive. If you’re nervous or worried about an appointment, they’ll pick up on it.

Taking Care of Your Kid’s Teeth at Home

Regular dental checkups are important, but oral health relies on good oral hygiene. Your children should be brushing twice a day and flossing daily just like you. If your child is younger than three years old, be sure to use a non-fluoridated toothpaste that’s safe when swallowed. When they’re old enough to spit, switch to a fluoridated product.

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Dr. Siew Tan
Dr. Siew Tan
Siew has worked at Heritage Dental Centre since 2002 and has over 20 years of dental experience.