Baby’s First Visit to the Dental Office

I had a patient call the other day and ask when she should start taking her baby to the dentist for check ups.  This is her first child and she was curious about what she needed to do to make sure her child’s teeth were okay and so  the child would not be afraid of the dentist.

I told her that she should try and make dental appointments as a family and we could take a quick look in  the baby’s mouth when the parents had their regular check ups.

This gives me a chance to meet the little one and to establish a relationship with the child at an early stage in life.  It also gives me a chance to watch the child’s dental development and answer any questions that mom and dad might have.

This establishes a pattern in the child’s life of regular visit to  my office to continue development of the relationship I have with the child and to make sure that the child’s dental needs are met.  It also allows me to help educate mom and dad on what to expect in their child’s dental development.

By doing this, we can ususally start cleaning the child’s teeth by age 3 1/2 to 4 years of age.   It also eliminates the fear associated with going to the dentist because their initial and subsequent visits are pain free.

This allows me to build a strong relationship of trust not only with the child, but with the parents, too.  Then if problems, such as cavities, arise, I already have the relationship necessary to be able to treat the child.

If the child’s first visit is when the child is having a problem, or is in pain, it is very difficult to treat the child and not have them associate dental visits with pain.  Then fear becomes the main emotion associated with going to the dentist.

So whenever possible, I would encourage parents to take their babies with them for their regular check up and have the dentist take a quick look at the baby to make sure their dental development in on schedule.

Be sure you take someone along to care for the baby while you are having your regular check up and cleaning so the office staff doesn’t need to watch the baby.

I would tell the dentist you would like to bring your baby with you to be examined so the office knows what to expect.

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