What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Our doctors and staff work with children of all ages.  We are committed to making each dental visit a fun, happy, and helpful experience for your family.

The ideal time for your child’s first visit to our dental office is around the time of his or her first birthday.  At this visit one of our top Chicago dentists will evaluate how your child’s mouth is developing, give you tips for caring for their new teeth, and help you prevent any habits that may be harmful.  Our goal is to prevent harmful habits and educate you and your child on helpful routines.  Good oral health is a daily habit that starts at home.

We understand that many adults may have “dental anxieties” and that these may make it difficult to bring the children to the dentist.  So we’ve created some tips to help you and your child prepare for that first, and all, visits.

  •  Very young children don’t understand time.  So we suggest that you wait until the day of your  appointment to let them know that they are visiting the dentist. You can describe this first visit as  being where the “Tooth Doctor” will count their teeth and help them learn how to care for them.  Make a game of it, or sing a song.  We’ve found that if the parent portrays it as a fun experience, the  child is excited, versus anxious.
  • You can show them this video of a family preparing for and attending their first visit to the  dentist.  It’s a short video of just over 10 minutes, but it will give them and you, a vision of what  the dentist will  be like.
  • Let your child know that this is an adventure.  They’re going to a new place to meet new people and  see some fun things.  Try to not use any words that will frighten them, like “needle” or “drill.”
  • To help make it a calm experience, we can examine your child while they sit in your lap in the dental  chair.  We find that with infants and toddlers this helps them feel safe and secure.
  • ​Feel free to bring any special toys or blankets that your child may find calming.  We can check your  child’s doll’s teeth if you like.  We’ve found that this makes the visit even more fun.

Our treatment rooms are open spaces so that parents can be present during the visit. 

What happens during ​your child’s first dental exam? 

The first part of your child’s dental visit will be taking a health history, which includes x-rays and cleaning of any teeth.  Then we’ll examine your child’s mouth, palate, gums, tongue, and teeth while we educated them about healthy food choices, how to properly brush and floss, and other dental health habits. 

At each visit, we let you know how your child’s dental health is progressing.  We give you:

  • An assessment of your child’s risk for decay;
  • An evaluation of your child’s soft tissues and gums;
  • An evaluation of your child’s bite and dental growth; and
  • An assessment of your child’s oral health as it pertains to his or her overall health including suggestions about nutrition

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