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When to Schedule Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

Oral health is important to a growing child’s overall well-being. However, new parents can be overwhelmed trying to understand their baby’s dental development and how to help their child maintain optimal oral health.

Our Montreal dentists are here to guide you and answer any questions you may have about the right age to take your little one to the dentist for the first time.

Importance of a first dental visit

The first visit to the dentist is an important milestone in your child’s long-term oral health.

This visit is the perfect opportunity to start developing good habits at an early age, so your child can get comfortable with daily brushing and regular dental visits.

For parents, it’s a good opportunity to improve their knowledge of the best oral hygiene practices for a child. Your dentist will share tips on effective brushing, correct flossing and the importance of good nutrition for healthy teeth. It’s the perfect opportunity to lay the foundations for a lifetime of good dental health.

Recommendations from Canadian oral health authorities

The Canadian Dental Association and the Ordre des dentistes du Québec recommend a first pediatric visit to the dentist within six months of the appearance of a child’s first tooth, or before the age of one. This early assessment will helo prevent future dental problems and establish good oral hygiene practices in children.

Goals and benefits of the first dental visit for toddlers

There are many benefits to making an appointment with a dental care expert as soon as 6 months after your child’s primary teeth come through.

Monitor the growth and development of teeth

During your child’s first visit, the dentist will confirm that the teeth and jaw are developing normally. The dentist will also check for cavities.

This visit is also an opportunity to identify habits that could negatively affect your child’s dental health, such as prolonged bottle use or thumb sucking. Dentists will advise parents on best practices to promote their child’s healthy oral development and how to maintain good oral hygiene.

Prevent tooth decay

Tooth decay is a major public health problem in Quebec, and it has a significant impact on children’s oral health.

According to a 2012-2013 clinical study on the oral health of Quebec elementary school students, 53% of Grade 2 students have irreversible cavities on their milk teeth, while 36% of Grade 6 students are affected by irreversible cavities on their permanent teeth. Early prevention and intervention can prevent these types of problems.

Make a first appointment with a dentist to prevent cavities in toddlers and help your young child stay healthy.

Reduce anxiety and build trust

Children should go to the dentist as soon as their first teeth come through so they can get comfortable with the experience of visiting a dental office. In fact, by having a positive experience from the very first appointment, they can learn not to fear dental checkups and procedures and will feel confident about their oral health, right from the start.

Tips for parents at their child’s first appointment

Preparing your child for their first visit to the dentist can turn a potentially stressful experience into a fun adventure. Here are a few tips for parents to help this first encounter to go as smoothly as possible:

  • Talk about the visit and be positive: Start by explaining to your child what’s going to happen during the visit and use simple, reassuring terms. The goal is to help them avoid any unnecessary anxiety.
  • Read a book together: There are many books written especially for children about going to the dentist for the first time.
  • Role-playing: Playing dentist at home is an excellent way to prepare your child for their first visit.
  • Keep calm: Children are very sensitive to adults’ emotions. It’s important to remain calm and positive, especially if you tend to get nervous going to the dentist yourself.
  • Choose the right time for your appointment: Try to schedule your child’s first appointment at a time of day when they are usually in a good mood and more willing to cooperate.
  • Bring a comforting object: Your child can bring a favorite toy, book or blanket along with them. A comforting object can reassure them and provide a sense of security during the visit.

What happens after a child’s first visit to the dentist?

After your child’s first visit to the dentist, it’s important to follow up at home by doing what the dentist has recommended. This includes regular brushing, correct use of dental floss and a children’s  toothbrush, and eating a healthy diet.

Parents should keep a close eye on any changes or developments in their child’s mouth, to monitor tooth development and do what is needed to prevent cavities.

You should also follow your dentist’s recommendations for scheduling future visits. Appointments for preventive care or treatments can easily become a part of your toddler’s oral health care routine.

Schedule your child’s first visit at Clinique Dentaire 1935

Clinique Dentaire 1935 is committed to providing the right care for every member of the family, guaranteeing healthy smiles for life. Your child’s first dental visit is very important! When parents take proactive measures for their child’s oral health from early childhood, many common oral health issues can be prevented and avoided.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and to schedule your child’s first visit.

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