Taking proactive steps to care for your child’s teeth and gums can help protect their oral and overall health. Parents should bring their children for their first dental visit shortly after their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. And though it might not seem possible, your children can get cavities as soon as they have teeth.

But if your child hasn’t had their first dental visit yet, or you are thinking of changing to a different dentist’s office, there are some things you should know to be as prepared as possible.

Preparing for Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Whether your child will be experiencing their first dental visit or you are planning for your first visit to Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry in Salem, Oregon, there are a few things you should know in advance. But before we get into that, we want you to know that it is our goal to be the best pediatric dentist around.

And we operate a bit differently than other dentists you may have met in the past. We understand that your kids are kids. They’re not miniature adults, and we don’t expect them to behave that way. Thus, we pull out all the stops to ensure your child’s first visit is fun, relaxed, comfortable, and easy. But not only that—we strive to ensure all of your child’s visits to our practice are that way. After all, it is our goal to set a foundation for a lifetime of excellent oral health. And we believe you can do that while having fun at the same time.

1. Talk to your child about what to expect at their first dental visit.

Just as with adults, it can be nerve-wracking going somewhere new where you don’t know what to expect. So don’t expect your kids not to have a bit of anxiety either. Spend some time before your child’s first visit reading books about how to take care of teeth and going to the dentist. Even playing some fun toothbrushing songs during brushing time before bed can help relax your child and encourage them to associate their teeth and the dentist with something fun and exciting.

A couple of our favorite books about going to the dentist are “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist” and “Daniel Goes to the Dentist.” Try showing your child this video about Visiting the Dentist! and, at bedtime, play them one of these toothbrushing tunes. Regular conversations about the dentist and oral hygiene can help make it seem more like a normal part of life for your child.

2. Be prepared for your child’s first visit with their medical records.

Either plan to bring hard copies of your child’s medical records, or ask your child’s pediatrician to send them over electronically in advance. Be sure to let your child’s dentist know if your child has allergies, anxiety, speech delays, or bites their nails. Also, let us know about heart conditions, recent surgery or bone breaks, if your child snores, and if they are on any medications.

Your child’s dental care is just part of the bigger picture regarding their overall health. And their dentist will recommend treatments based on various factors, including your child’s health status. The more information you can provide the dentist, the more holistic their treatment can be.

3. Your child’s first dental visit should be short and sweet.

In most situations, your child’s first dental visit will take somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour. If it’s your baby’s first visit, the dentist will talk to you about infant feeding practices, finger-sucking habits, baby bottle tooth decay, pacifier habits, teething, mouth cleaning, and more. For older children, the first dental visit will consist of a brief oral examination and a discussion around brushing and flossing habits and the use of a kid-friendly mouthwash. And finally, the dentist will work with you to schedule your child’s follow-up appointments. Scheduling appointments in advance is one of the best ways to create an easy-to-follow appointment regimen.

Schedule your child’s first dental visit with the best pediatric dentist in Salem, Oregon.

If you have been searching for the best dentist, we’re happy to tell you that you have found the best pediatric dentist in Salem, Oregon. We’re dental care experts for kids and would love the opportunity to show you why. And now that you have found us, the next step is to request an appointment using our online form or by calling our office. Before the appointment, take a few minutes to fill out and submit the requested patient forms. Be sure to review our dental FAQs too to help you best prepare for the appointment. We look forward to seeing you and your child.