One of the most common questions in pediatric dentistry is: “How old should my child be for a first visit to the dentist?” Even before the first tooth appears, parents can be proactive in caring for their child’s oral hygiene by keeping their gums clean and monitoring his/her diet. As for the first dentist visit age that Methuen experts like Dr. Mona Beylin suggest, the answer is: by your child’s first birthday.
Age One Is the First Dentist Visit Age That Methuen Expert Dr. Mona Suggests
However, Dr. Mona isn’t the only one. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Academy (ADA) both recommend that children be seen by a dentist before or close to their first birthday. In some instances, scheduling your child’s first dental visit even prior to their first birthday (when the first tooth emerges) is acceptable, too. Why so early? Great question!
The answer to why your child should visit the dentist sooner than later has much to do with simply helping him/her become accustomed to the routine of sitting in the dentist’s chair and going through the motions of what happens during a checkup. The more familiar your child is with the dentist’s office, dentist, staff and surroundings, the greater the likelihood of her/him developing positive associations with future dental visits.
The other important aspect of taking your child to the dentist at an early age is to ensure that your child’s teeth are developing properly, and to have the opportunity to ask your provider any questions that you may have regarding pacifiers, thumb-sucking, nutritional factors and other pediatric dental-oriented topics.
More Tools to Get You Both Ready for Their First Visit to the Dentist
Now that you know the first dentist visit age that Methuen parents should schedule for their child, are there other steps that can be taken to make that premier visit a successful one? You bet! To help prepare your child for their first dentist visit, and ensure that it is less stressful for you, try the following tips:
- Talk to Your Child Beforehand
- In the weeks and days leading up to your child’s first dental appointment, tell her/him about why they’re going to the dentist, what will happen and reiterate that you will be there the entire time.
- Provide Visual Aids
- Consult your dentist, online bookstores and local library for kid-friendly books and resources with the theme of a first dental visit. Offer to show your child videos about dental visits and brushing teeth to help provide a more tangible experience.
- Write Your Own Questions Down
- Scribe your questions in a notebook and be sure to leave room for notes. Even parents with the best memories can get caught up in the moment and lose sight of their questions for the dentist during the actual visit.
- Select an Optimum Appointment Time
- If possible, schedule a dental visit when your child will be most rested, satiated and receptive to a new environment and people. Try to set aside a time when you know you won’t have to rush or run into prime napping time.
- Bring a Lovey
- Having a lovey (plushy, blanket or favorite toy) can provide your child with some extra comfort and may just keep you calm in the long run!
Why Kangaroo Smiles Is the Choice for Your Baby’s First Dental Visit
Parents adore Dr. Mona for her kind, professional and knowledgeable dental approach, but children appreciate her even more! Caregivers and kids alike enjoy the kid-friendly, bright and happy atmosphere that both the Lowell and new Methuen office locations embody.
If you have additional questions regarding the first dentist visit age that Methuen dental providers such as Dr. Mona recommend, or would like to learn more about the comprehensive pediatric dental services our two Kangaroo Smiles locations offer, please call us today: (978) 425-1496!