Your Child’s First Visit
Infants should be brought in for a check around the time of their first birthday. This is roughly after 4 to 6 months of tooth development and growth. Once their first teeth have erupted, it is advisable to book an appointment with our Calgary dentist for a full evaluation of your child’s teeth and gums. Although visiting the dentist for the first time with your child can be stressful for parents, we strive to make both children and parents as comfortable as possible during this visit, and all the ones that follow.
Before visitation, parents are recommended to explain what will happen during the visitation to their children in terms they can understand. Parents are advised to do the following:
- Avoid the use of negative language: parents should avoid the use of words such as ‘needle’, ‘drill’, ‘bleeding’, ‘drills’, and any medical terms that may sound scary. These words should be avoided to prevent the child from becoming fearful and unhappy during the visitation.
- Speak positively of the dentist: speak positively to your children to keep them calm before the day of visitation. Explain to them the importance of oral care and how the dentist helps with this during the visit.
- Avoid distraction during their first visit: avoid taking other children along to prevent any form of distraction during the visit. It is important to avoid this so as to allow for proper care, explanation, and comfort of the child.
- Take an adult along for the visit: taking along another adult can help soothe and manage the child. This allows the parent or parents to be able to ask questions concerning this visit and the child’s oral health.
- Explain what will happen during the visit: your child’s behaviour can be greatly influenced by knowing what to expect from the visit. Age-appropriate books that outline the process of visiting the dentist can be helpful in making the visit more comfortable and seem fun.
Some of the dentist-approved books parents can use to educate their children include the following:
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist – by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Show Me Your Smile: A Visit to the Dentist – Part of the “Dora the Explorer” Series
- Going to the Dentist – by Anne Civardi
- Elmo Visits the Dentist – Part of the “Sesame Street” Series