What To Expect at Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment

So your child just turned 1, and you’re scheduling their first visit to the dentist. Doesn’t it seem like the anticipation of this appointment is worse than when you’re going for yourself?

No need to chew those nails to the quick just yet. This dentist appointment shouldn’t be very nerve-wracking at all. (And you want to do everything you can to tame the stories of the “scary dentist.”)

Here’s what you should expect:

  • The first dentist appointment will most likely be short and informal. (Hopefully) there aren’t any dental problems to take care of just yet. Instead, this appointment will be more of a meet and greet with the dentist to get your child used to the idea of visiting regularly.
  • You’ll be asked to accompany your child into the room and will likely be asked to hold them while the dentist looks around their mouth. You can either hold them in your lap in the dentist chair or – if it’s easier – you can opt for a regular chair.
  • There are a lot of benefits of choosing a pediatric dentist – one of them being that they’re used to seeing only young patients, so they know how to interact with them to make them feel comfortable. Many dentists will tell kids that they’re “looking for sugar bugs” and then inspect their teeth, gums, jaws, and bite.
  • This might be where the first appointment ends, or your dentist will opt to clean your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride preparation. The dentist will then talk to you and your child about good oral hygiene habits, including toddler teething, thumb sucking, good foods to eat (see: no sugar!), etc. Ask as many questions as you can! You may even want to bring a list of questions with you.