Preparing for your child’s first dental appointment can be a little stressful. Our pediatric dentists and team at OneDent Kids are here to help you! We want to make your child’s first experience at our office as comfortable and stress-free as possible for both you and your child. Please explore this page to learn the best ways to prepare for your child’s first visit to the dentist. If you have questions about your child’s first appointment in Purchase, New York, and to make an appointment with our dentists at OneDent of Westchester, please feel free to contact our office at 914-996-7786.
When to Start
Our pediatric dentists at OneDent Kids recommend that children visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth pushing through the gum, or before their first birthday. If you notice that their teeth or gums are obviously discolored or damaged, you may want to bring them in sooner.
Preparing for Your Child’s First Visit
Our facility at OneDent Kids was designed to be as comfortable and encouraging as possible. We work hard to provide an environment that helps prepare children for a positive experience. Our friendly team of pediatric dental professionals strive to create supportive surroundings so that children will feel welcome and relaxed during their visit. However, children sometimes come into our office afraid or anxious if unprepared. We encourage you to prepare your child for his or her appointment with our pediatric dentists at home.
While preparing your child, please try to:
• Avoid scary language. Words like “drills,” “needles,” “injections,” and “bleeding” can frighten children. Our pediatric dentists and teams are trained to avoid these and other words that may trigger anxiety.
• Provide positive explanations. If you use positive language to describe dental care and visits to the dentist to your child, you encourage your child to have a more positive response to our dentists and team. This makes it easier for us to develop a positive, trusting relationship with your child. For example, explaining that a dentist “helps keep teeth healthy” can be much more effective than describing the dentist’s specific actions.
• Explain what is happening. Sometimes it’s scarier for children when they don’t know what is going on. Knowing what to expect can greatly reduce dentist-related anxiety in children. You can help your child manage their expectations and make dental visits fun by helping them understand what will happen in advance. A good way to do this is through books. The following children’s books are helpful in preparing your child to meet with our dentists:
o The Berenstein Bears Visit the Dentist, by Stan and Jan Berenstein
o Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist (Part of the “Dora the Explorer” series)
o Going to the Dentist, by Anne Civardi
o Elmo Visits the Dentist (Part of the “Sesame Street” series)
Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
While general dentists can provide care for children, seeking dental care from a pediatric dentist is always a good idea. Pediatric dentists provide dental care just for children, and have been specially trained for 2-3 years after completing dental school to gain a unique and thorough understanding of children and the dental needs throughout all stages of development. Pediatric dentists are oral care specialists for children from infancy through adolescence, including children with special needs.
Why are Baby Teeth Important?
Primary, or baby, teeth play an important role in your child’s oral development. While they do eventually fall out, they have a big impact on your child’s overall health, development, and well-being. Most children have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are three years old. These teeth help to:
• Chew properly, which in turn promotes good nutrition
• Assist in speech development so that your child can speak normally
• Provide a path for the permanent teeth to follow when it is time for them to erupt
• Build your child’s self-esteem by giving them a beautiful smile
• Help your child to focus and learn in school without the distraction of dental pain
For more information on preparing for your child’s first visit, and on early dental care for children, please contact our practice and schedule a consultation with our caring pediatric dentists.