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What To Expect For Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Your child’s oral health is very important, even during infancy. Either within six months of your child’s first tooth coming in or after they are 12 months old, your child should have their first dental appointment. Your child’s first dental check-up will provide you insight on whether you are cleaning your child’s teeth sufficiently, if your child’s teeth are developing properly, or if there are any areas of concern for your child’s oral health. While dental appointments are necessary at a young age, they can still be daunting, especially for a child. This article will help you understand the best ways to prepare your child for their first dental visit and give you insight into what to expect out of it.  

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Consider Oral Health Throughout All Stages Of Life

Children’s oral health is an important developmental aspect to consider and monitor at a young age. To understand your child’s dental needs better, schedule a dental appointment. Beginning proper oral care such as attending regular dental visits and conducting proper oral hygiene will help your child adopt an effective and conscious mindset to maintain their oral health later on in life. 


How To Prepare

Going to the dentist for the first time will be a brand new experience for your child. Doing a few dentist-themed activities with your child is a great way to get them ready for this new experience. Different ways to prepare your child for their first dental appointment include:

  • Read books with your child about going to the dentist.
  • Watch videos about going to the dentist. If possible, find videos that discuss first-time dental appointments.
  • Give them an idea of what will happen during their visit by having your child open their mouth wide while you count the number of teeth they have. You can also put a spoon in their mouth and pretend it is a dental mirror. 
  • Avoid talking about unpleasant or scary experiences you had at the dentist as a child. 

What Will Happen

During your child’s first dental appointment, they will either sit in the dental chair alone or on the lap of a caregiver or parent. They will be given sunglasses to protect their eyes while the hygienist shines the dental light over their mouth to analyze their teeth. To prevent the spread of germs to your child, the dental hygienist will wear a medical mask while completing the check-up. The only tool the hygienist will likely use is likely a dental mirror to examine all areas of their mouth. You may also be shown by the hygienist the best way to clean your child’s teeth and maintain their oral health.  
As your child's first dental appointment will likely be at a very young age, they may not have a full set of teeth yet. Considering these things, you should not expect them to receive x-rays or any other added dental procedures unless they are needed to address a specific concern. 

What You Will Learn

After your child’s dental appointment you can expect to have gained a better understanding of the following topics:

  • If your child’s teeth are developing normally
  • If your child’s teeth are being cleaned properly at home
  • If there are any issues with your child’s dental health

If you have any specific questions about your child’s oral health, this appointment is a great opportunity to gain insight from a dental professional. Additional questions you may want to ask include:

  • Anything related to your child’s eating habits
  • The effects of thumb sucking or pacifier use on your child’s oral health and development
  • General timelines for new developments in your child’s teeth

First Time Dental Appointments Promote Strong Oral Health

Your child’s first dental appointment will be basic and is mainly useful to you as a parent so you can understand if their teeth are healthy, developing properly, and being cleaned sufficiently. Beginning your child’s dental appointments at a young age with preparation activities may help mitigate the risk of your child developing dental-related fears. 

To book a pediatric dental appointment call us at 403-248-2066 or book online here.



Q: How often should my child visit the dentist after their first appointment?
A: After your child’s first dental appointment, book regular appointments in intervals recommended to you by your dental hygienist. 
To gain professional insight of the general intervals young children have dental appointments, contact us at 403-248-2066 or online at 

Q: Why might my child need X-rays?
A: If your dentist recommends taking X-rays of their mouth, they will explain why it is necessary. Common reasons for dental X-rays at a young age are to see the development of teeth yet to emerge from the gums or to analyze tooth decay. 

Q: Why does my child need fillings on baby teeth if they will eventually fall out?
A: Tooth fillings on baby teeth are used to refill a part of a tooth that has been removed due to tooth decay. Proper maintenance on baby teeth such as receiving fillings, if needed, is an efficient way to ensure further dental complications do not arise and cause your child unnecessary pain or higher-priced treatments. 

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