What to Know Before the First Dentist Appointment for a Baby

baby smiling looking off camera

It’s never too early to ensure your child has excellent oral hygiene. At Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas, we have extensive experience in pediatric oral care, beginning with infants. Here’s how to prepare and what to expect for your child’s first dentist appointment as a baby.

When Should I Schedule the Appointment?

Your child should visit the dentist for the first time about six months after the eruption of their first tooth, and no later than one year old. While this may seem early, the initial visits are usually informative, so your pediatric dentist can become familiar with your child and their needs. Be sure to choose a dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry, as children have vastly different oral health needs than adults.

Taking your little one to the dentist early also helps them become comfortable with the environment and process, so they’re less likely to be afraid to visit as they grow.

woman carrying smiling baby

How to Prepare

First, make sure you’re calm. If you have your own anxieties about the dentist, you can (even unconsciously!) translate those fears to your child. You’ll want the first dentist appointment for your baby to go as smoothly as possible. Remaining as relaxed as you can about the dentist can help keep your child relaxed, too.

It’s best to prepare your child’s complete medical history for their first visit. Also, write down any questions you have about both office and at-home dental care, so you don’t forget any essential information.

At the Office

Our friendly, welcoming staff will greet you and your child warmly, to help put you both at ease. You can stay with your baby through their first dentist appointment, so you both feel calm and secure.

Once you meet your pediatric dentist, now’s the time to discuss medical history and ask those questions. Also be sure to mention any habits your child has, such as thumb sucking or sleeping with a bottle at night. Your dentist can provide information on:

  • Baby bottle decay
  • Teething
  • Pacifiers
  • Feeding practices
  • What regular dental visits involve

Your dentist will then examine your child’s teeth and gums for any initial complications and decay. They’ll also look at your child’s bite and jaw to check development and growth.

child smiling with dental tools against teeth

Depending on your child’s age and how many teeth they have, your dentist may also perform a standard cleaning and fluoride treatment. We’ll show your child each instrument before we use it, and demonstrate how it works, so the child will have less fear about potentially scary equipment going in their mouth.

If your child is old enough, your dentist may also explain and demonstrate proper oral hygiene habits to continue at home. After your baby’s first dentist appointment, continuing good habits is critical to laying the foundation for your child to have healthy teeth and gums throughout their life.

Staying Healthy at Home

Continue to clean your child’s teeth and gums for them until they’re old enough to do so themselves. Use a soft, kid-sized toothbrush and brush their teeth twice per day. Find a kid-friendly toothpaste fortified with fluoride to help coat the enamel of their teeth and prevent tooth decay, and use no more than a pea-sized amount.

If they have teeth that erupt close together, gently floss between them to help prevent interproximal, or cavities between teeth. We also recommend not letting them sleep with a bottle, and trying to curb thumb-sucking as early as possible. Both of these habits can lead to complications later on in their lives.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

At Children’s Dentistry of Las Vegas, we want your first dentist appointment for your baby to be an enjoyable, positive experience for you and your child. We have several locations in the Las Vegas area, so you can visit us at your convenience.

To schedule your baby’s first visit, contact us today, and we’ll make sure you and your child are completely at ease in our care.

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