Going to the dentist can be a scary experience — even for adults. There are needles, drills, bright lights, and loud noises. All of these things can put a child on edge, so it’s best to understand the specifics before the day of the appointment.
How Old Should My Child Be?
It’s recommended now that children visit the dentist at the time they get their first teeth (around six months to one year of age). This is primarily so they can become familiar with the feeling of the dentist’s office and the protocol of waiting in the lobby, sitting in the dentist’s chair, and having the dentist look in their mouth.
Where Do I Find a Children’s Dentist?
A simple internet search should tell you whether there is a qualified dentist in your area. Don’t be afraid to ask around; your pediatrician should be able to recommend a good pediatric dentist if you can’t locate one yourself. Make sure the dentist you choose is certified in treating children. Additionally, check your area’s licensing requirements: If you are looking for a kids dentist Jacksonville, for example, please check that the dentist is licensed by the state of Florida.
What Should I Bring?
Have your child wear something comfortable. Bring a snack, a pacifier, or a teether, depending on how old your child is. You might be waiting longer than your child deems necessary and you don’t want a tantrum to be associated with the first dental appointment! Don’t forget the diaper bag if your child is still in diapers.
While taking your child to the first dental visit may feel daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Remember to be prepared and set the stage for a calm and happy visit for your child, and you should have years of successful dental appointments to come!