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According to a recent survey, more than half of all parents waited until their child was three-years-old or older before their first dentist visit.

That’s much later than what dental and medical professionals recommend:

By First Tooth or First Birthday

The problem is, by the age of three, the bad habits that cause cavities are already in place, and they are very, very difficult to break.

By seeing kids early, we can set them up for a lifetime of good dental health.

What to Expect on Your Child’s First Dental Visit

The first dental visit is usually short – between 15 and 30 minutes – and involves very little treatment.

Many times with our very young children, we have them sit on mom or dad’s lap for their exam. We check their teeth, their bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues.

We also spend time educating parents and establishing a dental “home” for your child, in case there’s ever an emergency or problem and you need to bring your child in.

This gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist for the first time in a friendly, non-threatening environment instead of a sudden, fearful event.

9 Tips to Prepare for Your Child’s First Visit

1. It’s a good idea to schedule appointments for young children early in the day, when they are alert and fresh.

2. Get prepared the night before so you can be calm and, in turn, make your child feel safe and relaxed.

3. Consider putting your child to sleep a little bit earlier than usual, so she is well-rested and cooperative in the morning.

4. Gather any items you think you may need and pack a diaper bag, so you’ll have things ready to go.

5. Write down any concerns or questions you have.

This might include questions about how your children’s teeth are growing, how to identify potential problems… how to take care of their oral health… or how to help them with teething pain.

Write it all down so you don’t forget it during your visit.

6. Bring your child’s favorite book, toy, stuffed animal or a security blanket to help them feel more comfortable.

7. Bring your child’s toothbrush or any other instruments you’re using so we can make sure you have the right supplies.

8. You may want to go to bed early yourself. A good night’s rest will help keep your stress level down.

9. Finally, it’s a good idea to bring your child to our office beforehand to meet our staff and check out our waiting room.

That way, it will be familiar to them when it’s time for the appointment.

Just give us a call at 918-970-4944 and we’d be happy to set up a free tour.

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About the author: Ryan Roberts, DDS, MS is a pediatric dentist with a passion for working with children –– from infants to the teen years –– at On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry in Bixby, OK.

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