What to expect at your first appointment
The Canadian Dental Association encourages parents to bring their infants for their first dental appointment by one year of age, or within six months of the eruption of the first tooth. They also recommend that all children visit the dentist by the age of two or three.
Early visits teach children the importance of dental care and give you the opportunity to find out whether the oral hygiene routine you have established for your child is sufficient. It also enables us to identify potential problems before they become too serious.
Here is an outline of what you can expect at your child’s first visit with us:
We encourage you to stay in the treatment room with your child. Your presence can be very important in helping your child relax. Ideally, your child should sit in the dental chair alone, but we will not cause the child undue anxiety by forcing him away from you. If necessary at the first visit, your son or daughter can sit in your lap.
At this first visit, we aim to make the appointment go as quickly as possible to minimize anxiety. Because we are trained in behaviour management for children, we are able to handle cases of extreme anxiety with sensitivity and caring.
The first visit is not intended to be a rigorous examination of your child’s mouth. It is an initial assessment that allows us to gauge the overall health of your child’s teeth and gums. It also offers a gentle introduction to dental care for your child.
We try to keep the visit fun. Rides in the dental chair and videos lighten the atmosphere. When we examine your child’s mouth, we tell them we are counting their teeth, although we are really looking closely at your child’s bite and checking for any signs of tooth decay.
If we feel that further work is necessary, it will not be done on the day of the consultation.
We welcome your questions and encourage you to share your feedback with us at anytime.
here’s how you can help1
Make it a game, make it routine.
Brush your child’s teeth every day. Let them role play with you or their toys. Let them play dentist and count your teeth.
Timing of the appointment.
Time your child’s appointment around their schedule. It should be right after naps so your child is well rested.
Go with the flow.
Based on your child’s age and behaviour the first visit may be a short and sweet exam only. We may be able to complete more on that first visit, such as x-rays and a cleaning. Keep your expectations in check, we’ll let your child be in the driver’s seat.
Relax and smile.
The best way to prepare your child is to be relaxed yourself. Children can pick up on subtle cues if you are anxious.