Your child should have their first appointment with a dentist when they're about one year old or when their first teeth come in, whichever comes first. At this appointment, your child's dentist will start getting them used to dental exams, will check in with you about your child's dental care, and will give them a quick exam to make sure their teeth and mouth look healthy. Since this is a significant change in your child's routine, it'll go more smoothly if you prepare them for it.
How to Get Your Child Ready for the Dentist
1. Practice With Your Child
Long before your appointment, you should get your child used to having someone touch and look in their mouth. Clean their gums twice a day with a damp, clean washcloth, and after they start getting teeth, practice teeth cleaning with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, you can practice a position many dentists use to keep young children calm during their exam. Set your child on your lap, facing you. Then gently lean them back until their head is on your knees. This position allows you to hold and comfort your child while your family dentistry provider gets a clear look at their mouth.
2. Choose the Right Dentist
Many dentists don't work with young children. Choose a practice that provides "pediatric dentistry" or "family dentistry." They often state this directly in their name. If possible, visit the office before your child's appointment to take a look around, meet the staff, and get a feel for the atmosphere. Choose a practice that's kid-friendly, welcoming, and relaxed.
3. Pack Items for Your Child’s Visit
On the day of your child's appointment, make sure they've had their nap and are well fed with their teeth cleaned before you go to the dentist's office. Also, pack a bag with everything they need. This should include some of their favorite toys and teething items to keep them comfortable, calm, and entertained while you wait.
If your child needs a dentist, choose Alpine Family Dentistry in Eagle River, AK. They have over 20 years of experience and offer a full range of services for patients of all ages, including dental implants. They strive to create a welcoming environment with a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Visit their website for a list of services or call (907) 694-2409 to schedule.