How to prepare for your child’s first dentist appointment in the Upper East Side

If you are gearing up to take your child to their first dental visit with your Upper East Side pediatric dentist, you may wonder if there are any tips for helping them prepare. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists has recommended that a child’s first visit be no later than their first birthday. Early visits are a good way to make sure their oral development and oral healthcare are all on track. The earlier you can take your child to your neighborhood dental office, the easier it will be for them to develop a positive relationship with the dentist.

The first visit can be scarier for parents than for their children, especially if it’s your first child. In order to ensure they get a good first impression of the dentist, it may take some careful preparation. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your child for their first dental appointment with their dentist in New York City.

Introduce the Child to Oral Healthcare Early On

Before your child turns two years old, you should have been cleaning their gums using a clean, soft cloth. When they get their first teeth, you can change out for a soft-bristled toothbrush. There are kinds of toothpaste without fluoride that you can use until they are old enough to spit. After they can rinse their mouth and spit out any liquids, you can switch them to fluoride toothpaste. Once they are able to hold the toothbrush, encourage them to brush their own teeth. Remember you will need to supervise until you are sure they have mastered it on their own. You may choose to brush your teeth alongside your child to encourage good habits. It is good for them to see you practicing good oral hygiene too.

Do a Few “Practice” Exams at Home Before their First Dental Visit

It can be scary for any child to have a stranger poking around in their mouth, especially when they are in unfamiliar surroundings. Help alleviate some of the anxiety by doing a few practice exams at home. Run through what to expect at a dentist’s office with your child. Explain each step Dr. Basir will take during a routine exam. If your child is old enough to understand, you can explain all the steps while you perform them. You may want to do the practice exam in your child’s mouth or use one of their stuffed animals to demonstrate the exam.

Schedule the Appointment Strategically

Scheduling the appointment is an important aspect of your child’s first visit to a local pediatric dentist. Try to schedule the appointment for a time during the day when they tend to be in a good mood. This might be right after their noon meal, following a nap, or early in the morning. When a child is hungry or tired, they are not as likely to be cooperative and it can have a negative impact on their attitude and appointment.

Take a Tour of the Dental Office

If it’s possible, take a tour of our dental office in the UES before their appointment. A visit will allow them to be familiar with the office, the staff, and the sights and sounds of a dental office. You may let them play in the waiting room for a little bit. You can also give them a virtual tour so they can see what the office looks like before their visit.

Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit 

Dr. Shiva Basir is a New York City Pediatric dentist who loves to work with children. Call our offices today to schedule your child’s first dental visit. Get your child started on the road to good oral health.

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