Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist: What You Can Expect

Childhood is full of firsts, including a momentous first visit to the dentist. For many children, this first visit happens sometime in the first three years. The first visit to the dentist is different from subsequent visits because the focus is on acclimating your child to the dentist’s office. If you’ll soon be bringing your little one to the dentist for the first time, here’s what you can expect.

A Brief Examination

The first examination from the dentist will be brief – shorter than the visits you’re used to as an adult. The dentist will ask your child to open their mouth so they can see inside. The dentist may feel your child’s gums and examine their teeth (though there may be few teeth to look at). It won’t take much time at all, unless your child is older, in which case, they may get a full examination.

The dentist may ask your child some questions (if they’re old enough to answer). The purpose of this visit is to help your child feel comfortable answering dentist questions and allowing the dentist to examine their teeth.

Lessons in Tooth Care

After the dentist has concluded the examination, they’ll give you and your child a lesson on how to take care of young teeth. For the first several years of a child’s life, parents take responsibility for tooth brushing. This is because most children are unable to handle their own toothbrushes and brush their teeth in a way that is effective and healthy.

This means the dentist may give you, the parent, the tooth brushing lesson! Young children need their teeth flossed as soon as they have more than one tooth, so the dentist will show this to you as well. These demonstrations will help you take care of your child’s teeth, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Questions and Answers

Once the dentist has performed the examination, you’ll be given a chance to ask questions about your child’s dental health. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any unanswered questions you might have. Consider asking the dentist questions such as:

  • How often should I be brushing my child’s teeth?
  • About how old will my child be when they lose their first tooth?
  • How can I make my child cooperate for tooth brushing?

Bring Your Child for Their First Visit

Make your child’s first experience at the dentist a positive one. Call Canby Dental to make an appointment today.


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