Having your child start seeing a dentist regularly from a young age is a great way to instill in them the importance of oral health and dental hygiene. If you're a new parent, there are some specific tidbits you should know about your child's first dentist visit, when it should happen, and what to expect.

It Should Happen By Age 1

One of the most common misconceptions parents have about children and dental care is that the first dentist appointment doesn't need to take place until most of the baby teeth have grown in. In reality, a child's first visit to a dentist should happen by the time the child hits one year of age. Bringing in your child while baby teeth are still coming in will help the dentist get a better idea of what's going on with your child's oral health and make note of any potential issues that need to be treated.

Pediatric Dentists Are Best

While you certainly have your choice of dentists and it may seem most convenient to bring your child into the same dentist you see for your routine exams and appointments, children tend to do better with pediatric dentists. These are dentists who specialize in working with young children. If you haven't found one yet, start browsing around to find one that will suit your child's needs.

Preparing Your Child is Key

Many children have a little bit of fear over going to the dentist, even at a young age when they don't necessarily understand where they're going. A good way to quell some of that fear or anxiety is to bring your child's favorite toy in from home on the day of the appointment.

It's More Thorough Than You Might Think

Your child's first dentist appointment will be quite thorough. Aside from assessing your child's current teeth, he or she will also want to check out your child's bite, discuss habits like thumb sucking, and talk more about how your child's diet and nutrition could be affecting oral development. This appointment is also a great time to ask any questions you may have or bring up any concerns about your child's dental health.

Overall, your child's first dentist appointment is a very important milestone that will hopefully lead to a lifetime of great dental hygiene. If your child is under the age of one and has had his or her first teeth break through, now is a great time to schedule an appointment! Contact a dental office, like Night & Day Dental, for more help.