Taking good care of your family is our priority at Oak Park Dental. That’s why we make sure your children have a fun, stress-free trip to the dentist. With our friendly and compassionate staff, we hope your children will love keeping their mouths healthy and will be excited to visit us for years to come!
When Should Children Start Going to the Dentist?
Your child’s baby teeth are more important than you would think! Healthy baby teeth are critical for developing your child’s chewing mechanisms as well as proper speaking patterns. So, although this set of teeth isn’t permanent, we do recommend your child starts visiting the dentist no later than their first birthday. This will allow us to detect and eliminate any early tooth decay so that they can be set up for healthy teeth and gums down the road.
What to Expect During Your Visit
It is our job to make sure you and your child are comfortable throughout your visit. We will work with you to ensure your child is at ease while they’re in the chair. However, talking to them early and often about their upcoming trip to the dentist is a great way to make the appointment a bit less overwhelming. Here are some things you both can expect when you arrive at Oak Park Dental Group:
- Take a Seat – If you’re child is too small or is a bit timid about sitting in the chair by themselves, you are more than welcome to have them sit on your lap for the appointment.
- Dental Exam – We will quickly look over your child’s teeth and gums to ensure everything is in good shape and developing correctly.
- Cleaning – We will then do a standard cleaning to remove plaque and bacteria from their teeth. This is important for the prevention of future decay and illness.
- Learning – Lastly, we’ll teach your child how to take good care of their teeth so they develop good dental care habits early!
In some cases, we may uncover decay, injuries, etc. during the examination. Should this occur, we’ll work with you to plan for next steps to get their teeth back into good health.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Right now you may be a bit worried about how your child will do once they’re in the office. Don’t worry – you’re not alone! If your child starts to get fussy or upset, we’re here to help you turn things around. To improve your chances of having a stress-free appointment, you may consider trying some of these little tricks:
- Have a practice appointment. If your child loves to play pretend, then having an “appointment” with them may be the best way to get them excited and ready for the dentist! When they pretend to be the patient, try touching each one of their teeth and doing a cleaning. Then, let them play the dentist on their stuffed animals.
- Read a dentist-related book. Spend a few nights before your appointment reading one of the many picture books about going to the dentist. Some proven favorites are The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist and The Crocodile and the Dentist by Taro Gomi.
- Schedule carefully. Make sure to book your appointment at a time when your child will likely be in their best mood. You may want to avoid timeslots that overlap with their nap. Also be sure to eat (and brush!) before the appointment so snack time doesn’t interfere with their cleaning.
- Fill out paperwork before your visit. Filling out your forms online is a great way to ensure your child doesn’t get bored or cranky while having to wait.
- Stay positive. Avoid using scary words like “drill” or “needle” when talking about the dentist. Keep your child excited about their visit and keeping their teeth healthy and strong.
If you have any questions about booking your child’s first appointment, let us know! Call Oak Park Dental Group today to schedule your appointment.