At what age should children first see a dentist?

First birthday – first visit

Your child’s first visit to the dentist should take place at 12 months of age, or six months after eruption of the first baby teeth.

How to prepare your young child for their first visit:

  • Role play with your child at home. Pretend you’re the dentist and ask your child to open their mouth and count their teeth.
  • Read a story to your child about going to the dentist.
  • Watch a DVD about a character your child likes about going to the dentist (e.g. Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer).
  • Talk to your child about what to expect and build excitement.
  • Make the dental appointment for a time that your child is well rested. Early in the day is normally best suited to young children.
  • Inform your dentist about any medical conditions.
  • Be relaxed when talking about the dentist.

Don’t use negative words like needle, hurt, sore to convey anxiety about the dentist

Very young children are often fussy, will often cry and may not sit still.

What will happen on the first visit?

  • A parent may need to sit in the dental chair and hold the child during the examination.
  • The dentist will conduct a gentle but thorough examination of the teeth that are through to make sure they are healthy.
  • They will instruct the parent on brushing, diet and general oral health tips.

The dentist will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have, and help make your child feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the visit.

Decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. Identifying signs of early childhood decay is vital.

Visiting a dentist early in childhood can lead to a lifetime of good oral health habits.

Contact our Patient Coordinator on (03) 9460 7070 to discuss ways to ease into your child’s first dental visit.

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