On top of all the other exciting “firsts” you’ll experience with your baby, their first dental appointment is an important milestone. Teaching your child about how to care for their teeth—and that there’s no need to be afraid of the dentist—starts early. Even babies need good dental care.
Here is an overview of when to schedule their first appointment, what you can expect and how to get the most out of your time with their dentist.
When should I schedule my baby’s first appointment?
When your child’s first tooth appears (or “erupts”), it’s often a relief for everyone in the household. Teething hurts, and no one wants to see their baby in pain. It’s also nature’s reminder that it’s time to schedule their first appointment at Fioritto Dental. Plan to see us within six months of their first tooth erupting. If you notice any issues, like cavities forming or unusual teething pain, schedule the appointment as soon as possible.
What to expect at the first appointment
Your child’s first appointment should be relatively straightforward. A typical first visit is designed to help them get comfortable visiting our dentists at Fioritto Dental. We will help educate parents on how to take proper care of their baby’s new teeth.
Depending on your child’s age, your dentist may do a full examination. This covers their teeth, jaws, oral tissue, bite and gums. They may also perform a simple, gentle cleaning if there’s any indication of plaque buildup or other issues.
At this point, your dentist will talk to you about what to do and look for during infant dental care. They usually go over baby bottle tooth decay, teething, feeding, how to clean your child’s mouth and whether they suck on their fingers or pacifiers. (While adorable, it can lead to major dental problems.)
The entire visit will take about 30-45 minutes. At the end, you can schedule their next appointment—they should be seen every 6 months, just like adults.
How to prepare your baby (and yourself!) for the visit
Children pick up on their parents’ anxiety, so if you’re nervous, they will be, too. Your goal should be to show them that visiting the dentist is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about. With infants and toddlers, you may need to stay in the room for all or part of the visit; as they get older, they will transition to being entirely on their own.
Whenever possible, schedule dental appointments in the morning. Children tend to be more alert and awake at this time of day. Make sure that if they’re on a schedule, it doesn’t conflict with naptime.
If your child is on the older side, you can prepare them by explaining what a dentist does. Let them know that dental health is important, and that it will be an exciting new experience. Kids like to know what to expect, and your enthusiasm can soothe any potential worries.
Are you ready to schedule your child’s first dental appointment? Call Fioritto Dental today. We’ll work with you to ensure that your baby’s first dental experiences are easy and painless for parents and baby alike.