You get pretty excited chronicling all of your child’s “firsts:” steps, words, and teeth. Speaking of teeth, though, you may worry a little about your baby’s first dentist visit.
You want it to be a good experience for your baby, you, and the dentist. But it’s hard to predict how your baby will react to a stranger poking around their mouth.
With Lakeside Dentistry’s emphasis on family dentistry, countless kids have made their first dentist visit to our Rochester, MN office. Because we’ve been here since 1985, some of our patients have grown up with us and now bring their own children to see our family dentists!
Because we’ve experienced this milestone with so many children, we’ve got some tips on making baby’s first dentist visit go well. If you have any questions for us before you come in, you can call our family dentists at 507-316-6444.
When to Bring Baby to the Dentist
The American Dental Association recommends scheduling your baby’s first dentist visit after the first tooth comes in. This usually happens between 6 and 12 months of age.
We know how quickly time passes with a new baby, so we realize it may be a bit later than that! But it’s a good idea to bring your child to see us no later than their third birthday.
What Happens at Your Baby’s First Dentist Visit
So what can you expect at your baby’s first dentist visit? It is a little like a well-child visit at the pediatrician. We get to know you and your baby, and we make plenty of time to answer your questions. If you are a first-time parent, we expect you’ll have a lot! We can advise you on teething and other issues.
Of course, we also check your child’s mouth to look for any cavities, mouth injuries, or other issues that may need to be addressed. And we’ll show you how to clean your baby’s teeth.
5 Tips for Your Baby’s First Dentist Visit
These tips will help your baby’s first dentist go well:
Schedule the visit at a time when your child will be well rested and in a good mood. We find mornings tend to work well for most babies! Since our Rochester, MN dentist’s office opens at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays, it should be pretty easy to schedule a visit early in the day.
Leave other children at home, if you can, so you won’t get distracted.
Bring along a friend, spouse, grandparent, or similar “buddy” to help out with your baby so you can focus more fully on speaking with our dentists.
Using our new patient forms, fill out all of the information for your baby prior to the visit. This saves time and hassle!
Feed your baby beforehand. Don’t give snacks in the waiting room. It’ll be easier for our dentists to examine baby’s teeth without food residue.
How to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth
At baby’s first dentist visit, our family dentists will share advice for caring for your baby’s teeth. Among their tips:
Wipe your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth at least two times a day.
Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they come in. Use a soft-bristled, baby toothbrush and water. Our dentists will let you know when you can begin using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Don’t let nursing your child to sleep become a habit, and do not give anything other than water in a bottle at bedtime.
Help Your Child See the Family Dentist as a Friend
As your child gets older, you’ll want to make sure they continue to enjoy dental exams at our Rochester, MN dentist office. Here are some suggestions to keep the good feelings going:
Talk to your child about the dentist before your visit, emphasizing the positive like rides in the patient chair
Look at books that present dentists in a positive way
Let your child pick out toothbrushes and toothpaste
Practice opening your mouth together before the visit, maybe by giving each other “exams”
Before or after visiting the dentist, schedule another enjoyable activity like visiting Grandma or playing in the park
At Lakeside Dentistry, we try to make oral care and good dental health as appealing to your kids as we can. We even have a no-cavity club! We want you to think of us as partners in this important aspect of your family’s health.
Ready to schedule your baby’s first dentist visit? Call Lakeside Dentistry at 507-316-6444. Or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment with our family dentists.