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When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time?

January 25, 2018

Getting your child comfortable with the dentist’s office and oral hygiene is equally as important as getting the checkup itself.

We recommend bringing your child in for their first visit within 6 months of their first tooth coming in, as tooth decay and plaque can start to show. Your child’s baby teeth will fall out but they still need care. Even though you can’t see them, your child’s adult teeth are growing underneath.


Mother’s milk, formula, cow’s milk and fruit juices all contain sugars.

Babies may get early childhood tooth decay from going to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice.

If your baby absolutely requires a bottle for bed, use water instead.

The first visit is meant to accomplish 3 things.

  • First, it’s meant to familiarize your child with the dentist’s office, allowing him or her to explore and become more comfortable. The dentist will only take a look at a child’s teeth once he or she is at ease.
  • Once trust is established, the tools used in dentistry will be introduced in an attempt to remove the fear associated with these items.
  • Lastly this visit allows the dentist to do a quick exam, looking for evidence of tooth decay. The dentist will check the child’s gums, jaw, and bite looking for any problems that may affect the teeth, or speech.

People who start proper oral hygiene habits early tend to:

  • End up with fewer cavities and gum infections
  • Increase their overall oral health
  • Gain a positive dental outlook (are less afraid or nervous of dental processes)
  • Have increased self-confidence

Check out 10 Ways To Make Brushing Fun For Your Child for some helpful ideas!

At Desired Smiles we are known for our unique Dental Program for children. It’s designed to educate children about oral hygiene and dental processes in an encouraging and relaxed way.

We offer three types of appointments for kids. Each child’s program is customized specific to their needs, age, developmental abilities and level of anxiety. We work with kids in a fun and captivating way. Contact us to learn more or book your appointment!

Tips for the parent:

Dentists are trained in describing dental procedures and processes to children in a non-threatening way.

  • Before the appointment, try not to share personal experiences unless they were positive.
  • Explain to them where they are going and talk about it in an excited manner rather than a nervous one
  • Remind them that dentists are there to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

Check out How To Get Your Child Ready For Their First Dentist Appointment for more tips!


It is important to start the oral hygiene process young, as the younger a child is when they’re exposed to new routines, the more likely they are to continue them into adulthood.

How to Get Your Child Ready for Their First Dentist Appointment

July 2, 2014

You and your child are both nervous because that time has come, it’s time for your child’s very first visit to the dentist. There are several ways of making the trip go smoothly for both you and your child.

Start Young

The younger a child is before they’re exposed to new experiences, the easier it will be for them to adjust.

Keep it Simple

Don’t try to overcomplicate your first dentist trip with your child. Explaining too much in depth can lead to more questions and potentially cause fear in your child. It’s easier to tell your child that they’re going to get their teeth cleaned than try to tiptoe around what happens when they get a cavity.

Let their dentist explain what will happen. Dental professionals know the language to use when talking to children about their teeth, cavities, and things that may cause them pain.

Use Play to Teach

Kids learn a lot from play, like how to handle new experiences. Teach them about going to the dentist by playing dentist with them. You can have them come into a make believe waiting room, then both make your way to the washroom to brush your teeth together. Activities like this help bring familiarity to a dentist visit with your child.

Avoid Bribery

Luring children to the dentist with sugary treats is not only counter-productive, it will make it difficult for them to form good hygiene habits or even want to go to the dentist later in life.

Instead, set an example for your children. If you’re excited to go to the dentist, they will be too.

Emphasize the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

By emphasizing good habits you can help your children prevent cavities, keep their teeth clean, and avoid unnecessary pain when visiting the dentist! Teach your child independence and make them proud of their smiles.

Address Your Own Feelings

You don’t want to pass on your own phobia of the dentist to your kids. If you tend to get nervous going to the dentist, you can read our tips to calming down before a visit. You may have to embrace a positive attitude, despite your unease for your child’s sake.

A smile is contagious, so pass yours on to your child when you visit the dentist!

Already visited the dentist with your child? Share your experience and advice with us below!