Parents want to do the best they can for their children, including coming to the dentist! We love that first appointment because the parent is just as nervous as the child, and our wonderful staff works well to help them both relax. That first appointment is important because it begins a lifelong habit of seeing the dentist for routine cleanings and exams.
When is it Time?
The question we hear most often from new parents is this: when should I bring my child in for the first appointment? There are a few factors at play here that make it difficult to give you a definite time. Age, number of teeth, and personality all play a factor.
For most young patients, we recommend that first appointment be at around a year old. The ADA recommends six months after the first tooth. For most kids, that is right around six months, so the year mark is a good time for that first appointment. However, not all kids have a tooth by their first birthday!
The other concern is personality. If your child is very shy and doesn’t like to be around strangers, it may be in your best interest to wait a few extra months. The decision is ultimately up to you, but know that the sooner you begin the process, the sooner we can make this a positive experience for your little one.
What to Expect at the First Appointment
A child’s first appointment is an important one. This is the appointment that will shape your child’s opinion of the dentist office, so we want to make sure that we are giving them a good experience. Our approach actually depends completely on your child.
If your child is outgoing and loves to interact with just about anyone, then we will play off of that! Your child will be able to sit in the chair, “meet” all of the tools and instruments, and maybe even have a cleaning done. Even just a polish will be enough to let them know what happens here at the office.
If your child is quiet and reserved, they may not be as comfortable jumping right up in the chair, and that’s okay. We will do what we can. If that means sitting on Mom’s lap while Dr. Pioch counts their teeth, then that’s what we will do. The last thing we want to do is to make your child feel scared or uncomfortable.
After an appointment or two, your child is going to feel more and more comfortable at the office. Our staff is fantastic, and you will be surprised at just how quickly your child will blossom into a great dental patient!
Contact Our Office
If it’s time for your child to have that first dental appointment, or if you’re just not sure, give us a call at (503) 305-5051 or contact us using our online form. We are happy to help you make the best decision for your child’s needs, so call today to get started!