Bring That Toddler to the Dentist: Simple Tips to Help the Appointment Go Smoothly

It is recommended by the American Dental Association(ADA) that children begin regular dental checkups between 12-24 months of age. The age variance is due to children getting their first set of teeth at different ages within an appropriate developmental window. Often parents delay taking their child into the dentist citing their young age and concerns about their ability to sit through the exam. Not to worry parents, this simple guide will help prepare you and your child for a successful first dental checkup. 

Making the Appointment 

The first step of preparation for your child’s first dental visit should be to check with your insurance company to find an accepted provider. The list will reveal all of the local options, addresses, doctor names and biographies, and whether or not they are accepting new patients. Copay information can be found out from the insurance company as well so there are no surprises. All kids dentistry saint matthews ky are trained and experienced with small children. 

After identifying a couple of dental practices that you are interested in, call for appointment availability. Sometimes the website information is not up to date and the practice may not be accepting new patients. That is why it is suggested to have at least two to three options available to check out as alternatives. When deciding on what time of the day to schedule the appointment be sure to do it before or after nap time to avoid possible fits. 

Mental Preparations 

Once the appointment is set it is time to begin preparing the child, and yourself, for what is to come. Reading books about the dentist office can be an enjoyable way to visually show the child what to expect. Of course, at such a young age they likely will not retain a lot of information. 

As a parent, it is important to remember to have reasonable expectations. The child might wiggle or cry and that is alright. Each visit will help them become more comfortable with dental checkups. 

The Big Day 

Try to stick to your normal routine on the day of the appointment to help the child be at ease. Make the appointment sound like an exciting new adventure. In the waiting room point out different items to keep them engaged. When it is time for their checkup you might be asked to hold your child or sit next to them. The first visit will only do a basic check and cleaning if the child allows it. More than anything it is to help them get comfortable at the dentist and identify any potential problems early. 

Good dental routines begin early. The first visit to the dentist should occur while a child is 12-24 months old. Parents can check with their insurance company to find a dentist and copay information. Storybooks are a great way to show the child what happens at the dentist office. Finally, try not to have big expectations for the child’s first dental visit

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