Here at New Jersey Pediatric Dentistry, we take pride in caring for your child’s dental health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children have their first dental appointment 6 months after their first tooth or by their first birthday! As parents, we understand that a child’s first dental visit can be very stressful for both the child and the parents. As pediatric dentists, we strive to create an inviting environment for your child. We use our extensive training in child psychology and set up our offices with vibrant colors and toys to make this an exciting experience. Our goal is to work with the entire family to create a calm environment and ensure a positive experience for your child. With your help, we hope that your child grows up loving their dental visits. This will set them up for a lifetime of good dental health!

How can a parent prepare for their child’s first visit?

The most important thing a parent can do before their child’s first visit is to shield their child from any personal dental phobias and stay positive. They need to tell their children that the dentist keeps their teeth healthy. This will help to paint the dentist in a positive light! They should not use words like cavities, decay, drill, needles, or any other scary words. Even pediatric dentists try to avoid those words during the visit to make sure it remains positive.

If parents have multiple children being seen on different days, it can be beneficial to leave the others at home. Too much commotion in the office can make it hard for a child to sit still. If your children are being seen on the same day, allow the younger or more fearful child to watch their sibling. Confidence can be contagious!

It is always helpful if a child knows what to expect during a visit. There are many books on the topic that you may want to read with your child to help reduce any anxiety he or she may be feeling. The Berenstain Bears, Dora the Explorer, and even Elmo all have books about going to the dentist. And if your child loves Cocomelon as much as mine do, they have many dental related songs and segments.

For their first visit, your child will get to meet and become acquainted with the dentist and staff. We will begin by reviewing their health and dental history and providing counseling on different oral hygiene and dietary practices. Then, using different techniques to gain your child’s trust, the dentist will evaluate the development of his or her teeth and jaws. If your child is still fearful, it may be beneficial to allow them to sit on a parent’s lap. With children, their cleanings will be completed during the same visit. They will also receive a fluoride treatment! During the visit, we will answer any questions and help you formulate a home care regimen for your child. And finally, time for a prize!!

If you have any questions or would like to set up your child’s first dental visit, don’t hesitate to contact us today at 973-888-1424.