America's Pediatric Dentists - The Big Authority on Little Teeth

AAPD | Mouth Monsters

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions: Check Off Your First Visit To The Pediatric Dentist

Make your child's first visit to the pediatric dentist a good one with this helpful checklist!

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It’s the New Year – a time when many parents and caregivers focus on healthy habits and routines for themselves and their families. This year, make sure establishing a Dental Home is on your list of to-do’s, especially if your child has already had their first birthday.

Because baby teeth are the blueprint for permanent teeth, caring for them is important. While tooth decay can impact children’s ability to eat and sleep, it can also impact a child’s ability to learn at school and speak clearly. Remember to schedule a visit with a pediatric dentist to ensure healthy little teeth and keep this checklist handy for an enjoyable first visit and as a refresher for check-ups.

  • Schedule your first pediatric dental visit to establish a Dental Home, or “home base,” for your child’s dental needs by your child’s first birthday. Remember, it’s never too late!
  • If you have a toddler who hasn’t seen a pediatric dentist before, consider a “get acquainted” visit so your child can get familiar with the dental office before the first appointment.
  • Answer all your child’s questions positively and be careful about using scary words. Check-ups and 90 percent of first visits do not have anything to do with “hurt,” so don’t even say the word!
  • Read your child a story about a character who had a good dental visit. Try asking your pediatric dentist for suggested reading.
  • Give your child some control over the dental visit. Such choices as “Will you hold your bear or should I?” or “Which color toothbrush do you like?” will make the visit more enjoyable.
  • Give center stage to the pediatric dentist and allow her to do most of the talking to build a better relationship with your child. Remember, you will be able to discuss with the pediatric dentist after the examination.