Visiting the dentist can be an anxiety-ridden ordeal for many. You want to ensure you help your child feel comfortable because a dentist is a doctor they’ll need forever. If you have a young child at home, you may wonder if their dental visits look the same as adults. Here’s a bit of what to expect to help prepare your child for their first visit.
Length of Visit
You can expect to spend around 30 minutes to an hour on the first visit. Of course, this depends on how busy the office is and if the doctor is running behind. You’ll most likely have paperwork to fill out for your child. It’s a good idea to bring your child early so they can become familiar with the office. It will help them feel a tad more comfortable.
Your child will encounter new sounds, bright lights, and new smells. Being early and giving them time to adjust is a helpful tool. Plus, it will help the appointment go smoothly.
The Treatment Area
When it’s time to go back to the treatment area, some practices invite parents to join their little ones for a first visit. You may have a confident kid, but most enjoy having Mom or Dad beside them. A dental office can be scary for anyone, especially a little kid who’s never experienced a dental cleaning before. The right family dentist will help put everyone at ease.
Your child will climb into the exam chair for their first dental examination. The dental hygienist will talk to your child throughout to let them know which instruments they’re using and how it might feel. The hygienist will count the teeth, clean off any tartar or plaque, polish the teeth, and floss. The dentist will take a look at the gums and jaw, evaluating your kid’s development.
Toys, Prizes, and Scheduling Another Visit
After a successful visit, most dental offices will allow the new patient to select a reward from a prize box. Your child can pick a toy to help excite them for their next visit. It’s customary to visit the dentist every six months, but some offices may suggest every three months to help acclimate your child to the dentist.
The dentist or hygienist will discuss with your child how important teeth care is. They’ll send you home with a fun toothbrush, toothpaste, and a prize or toy.
Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect during your child’s first dental visit, you can help prepare them for the day. Who knows, they may even love the dentist!
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