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Many parents are unaware of the best time to take their children to the dentist. Some believe that this should be when the child is around four years of age since that is when all of their baby teeth grow out. However, others believe that visiting the dentist in Dubai, should be done much later when the child is more mature.

With the mounds of conflicting information online, parents are wondering what the best age for their child’s first dental visit is. This article takes a deep dive into everything you must know about your child’s first dental appointment and when that should take place.

When to Take Your Child to the Dentist 

On the whole, it is believed that the earlier you take your child to the dentist, the better. Most pediatric dentists will tell you to follow the ‘early and often’ rule concerning your child’s dental appointments. This is because of a variety of reasons. 

Firstly, by visiting a dentist early, your child will start developing good dental hygiene habits from an early age. Moreover, potential cavities, dental issues, and infections can also be identified promptly. As a result, your child will also receive better dental treatment and prevention.

Fear of dental visits is a common issue with many children. This is why getting them familiar with the dentist when they are young can significantly help. Over time, they will become more comfortable and familiar with the process of visiting a dentist. The first visit is essentially centered on establishing this comfort and familiarity anyway. 

On that note, the best time to take your child to their first dental appointment is when they are one year of age. This is when their baby teeth begin growing, so a checkup from a dentist can help with identifying any gum or teeth issues. Your child’s baby teeth begin emerging when they are six months old. Hence, make sure that your dental appointment is not too far behind.

However, some children don’t get their first tooth after their one-year birthday. If that is the case with your child, you should consider delaying the appointment. 

What to Expect On the Child’s First Dental Visit

The child’s first dental visit is a daunting and nerve-wracking experience for children and parents alike. It is imperative that parents provide their children with the necessary support to ensure that their child’s first dental visit is smooth. Being prepared and having all of the information regarding what to expect can truly help with this.

With that said, here are some ways to prepare your little one for their first dental appointment:

  • The dentist will introduce themselves

  • You will be asked to give a detailed history of the child, such as full name, phone number, and address. This is when the dentist can break the ice with the child and ask about the child’s school, friends and interests. This will allow the child to feel more comfortable.

  • Next, the parent will be required to give a detailed medical history of the child, including allergies, medications the child is on, or any other previous medical health problems.

  • Next, the child and parent will be asked about the child’s dental history 

  • If there is any pain felt anywhere 

  • How regular they are about brushing their teeth

  • What they like to eat most

  • What kind of diet the child has. Does it include carbonated drinks and sodas, hard candies, a lot of junk food, etc.?
  • Next, the dentist is going to move on to the physical examination

  • The child will be asked to open their mouth wide, and each tooth will be examined properly with the help of special tools

  • If required, air or water spray will be blown to clear the tooth surfaces

  • If the child’s teeth look ok and free of cavities, then the dentist will proceed to do a gentle polishing of the surfaces of the teeth

  • The dentist may also apply a layer of fluoride varnish

  • Getting a gentle treatment done on the dental chair will make the child get a feel of the dental clinic and will take away some of their fears for next time.

  • Finally, the dentist will talk about good oral hygiene habits and best practices for brushing teeth with a demonstration on a model.

Preparing for First Dental Appointment 

Are you wondering how to prepare your little one for their first dental appointment? 

Your child is likely feeling apprehensive and scared before the visit. This is why it is helpful to carry out some activities to ease their nerves. The best way to do this is to pretend to play a role-playing game with your child. 

  • You can be the dentist and make your child sit on a chair and count their teeth together. Or reverse roles and let your child be the dentist

  • Watch a video together of a child sitting on a dental chair getting a checkup done

  • Hold a mirror and count each other’s teeth together

  • Try to schedule an appointment when your child is fresh and in a good mood. Usually, children are the least cranky in the morning

  • Try to get the first appointment so that your child doesn’t have to wait too long at the office

  • Seeing other patients can make them anxious, and a long wait can make children antsy and irritable

  • Don’t show up late to the appointment, so you don’t have to rush through everything.

Sometimes over-preparing your child is not the best approach, and it may backfire and make the child more anxious. Instead, you can casually mention it on the day of the appointment. It entirely depends on your child’s temperament, so choose the best approach accordingly.

If you are wondering where to take your child for their first dental visit, consider booking an appointment at Dr. Paul’s dental clinic. We take great care of our younger patients, which is why we are considered one of the best pediatric dentists in Dubai.