When you plan your child's first dental visit, you are likely concerned about how the process will go. Children may likely be fearful and nervous at first, so it is ideal that you know what to expect to help make your child more relaxed at the appointment. Here are some of the things that will happen at your child's first dental appointment:
Check-In and Meeting the Dentist
After your initial check-in in the reception area, you and your child will go into the exam room. The family dentist, as well as the hygienist in some instances, will come in and greet you and your child. At this time, the dentist and hygienist will discuss what type of exam they will do. They may also show your child some of the tools they will use to check the child's teeth.
During this time, the dentist will review the medical history of your child. The dentist will want to know if the child ever used an oral comfort item, such as a pacifier, a blanket, a thumb, or anything else. The dentist will also want to know if your child was bottle-fed or breastfed. If your child seems scared during this time, ask if the child can sit with you on the exam chair or in your lap.
The first dental visit may or may not include an exam. If there is an exam, it will typically consist of a quick peek in the mouth. The dentist will check the number of teeth that have come through, whether or not any decay is present, and any other issues in the mouth.
If your child shows particularly bad angst over the idea of the exam, the dentist may choose not to move forward with it until you have had more time to prepare your child.
You should also receive some education during the first visit. The dentist will inform you if he or she notices any concerns during the exam, if the exam occurred. He or she will provide you with the proper care required for the teeth to help you deal with any problems that may be present. If your dentist notices anything off about your child's bite, he or she will explain what may need to happen in the future to correct it. If you have any questions, this period is the perfect time to ask as well.