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If your child’s health is a top priority, introducing oral health to your kids as early as possible is one of the best things you can do. The key to dental health is prevention. And the earlier you can get your child’s teeth checked, the earlier you can stop bad habits before they ever start.

Experts recommend that you visit a dentist at the first sign of growing teeth. You can schedule a visit any time after their first tooth, but it shouldn’t be later than 12 months old. By starting early, you can help your child have a healthy smile for life.

How to Prepare for the Visit

It’s important to explain the purpose of the visit to your child. Talk to your child about what’s going to happen and remain positive about the appointment. You can read books about dental visits or show them videos of other children visiting their dentists. Moms and dads should also prepare to list their baby’s health history as well as any concerns about dental health.

What to Expect During the Visit

Children respond differently to strangers. Those who are too attached to their parents can be fearful and anxious upon seeing strangers. Rest assured, professionals are trained to handle children of different age groups. They know that this is a new experience and it’s normal to see them with a little apprehension. Just help your child feel more comfortable. Always think of the appointment as a fun experience. Your child feels your feelings so be extra careful with your emotions.

What to Discuss with the Doctor

Since this is an initial visit, the doctor will likely talk about proper oral health care. Flossing, brushing, mouth and tongue cleaning, and feeding practices will be discussed. Thumb sucking and use of pacifiers or teethers should be addressed since these can also impact oral health.

Dental chairs are available where your child can sit on your lap. The visit lasts for 30-45 minutes. The dentist takes a full assessment of the teeth, gums, jaws and the whole mouth. Depending on their age, an oral exam, cavity filling or x-ray may be needed.

Future Dental Visits

Regular dental visits are recommended to help your child enjoy better oral health. You should at least do it every six months or more if there are special concerns. After all, frequent visits with the dentist builds comfort and confidence in the child.

Your baby is hitting a new milestone and this can be a momentous event for both of you. Visiting the dentist for the first time is the best step to take to promote their oral health.

Teeth on the boy hand