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Tip and tricks for your child's first dental appointment

Kendra Cuevas, 81st Dental Squadron dental hygienist, provides a dental cleaning on Logan Lester, son of U.S. Navy Steelworker 2nd Class Ian Lester, a Seabee with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Mississippi, during the 8th Annual Give Kids a Smile Day at the dental clinic Feb. 14, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The event was held in recognition of National Children’s Dental Health Month and included free dental exams, radiographs and cleanings for children age two and older. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Kendra Cuevas, 81st Dental Squadron dental hygienist, provides a dental cleaning on Logan Lester, son of U.S. Navy Steelworker 2nd Class Ian Lester, a Seabee with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Mississippi, during the 8th Annual Give Kids a Smile Day at the dental clinic Feb. 14, 2018, on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The event was held in recognition of National Children’s Dental Health Month and included free dental exams, radiographs and cleanings for children age two and older. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Scheduling a dental appointment for your child can be a stressful experience for both you and your child. Below we have some tips and tricks that can make the process easier.

When should I schedule my child’s first dental appointment?

  • After the first tooth comes in and no later than your child’s first birthday is the recommended time to bring you child in for their well-baby dental exam.

  • Prevention is key and we want to make the first dental appointment a positive one. If it’s a positive experience, then your child will know what to expect the next time and it makes things easier on both you and your child. Unfortunately, if your child comes in when they are in pain, they will always connect going to the dentist with pain.

Tips when scheduling the appointment.

  • Don’t schedule during naptime. Pick a time when your child is well rested and cooperative.

  • Make sure your child has a light snack before the appointment. A hungry child is not a happy child.

  • Brush before the appointment as a courtesy to the dentist.

  • Make a list of questions to ask the dentist. If your child is teething, sucking their thumb or using a pacifier too much, the dentist can offer some advice.

  • If possible, ask for necessary paperwork prior to the dental appointment because it may be easier to fill it out at home rather than on the day of the appointment.

     

What to expect at the first visit?

  • The dentist will examine your child to make sure his/her jaw and teeth are developing properly. You will most likely hold your child on your lap if they aren’t comfortable sitting in the dental chair by themselves. After the examination, the dentist or hygienist will proceed with a cleaning/fluoride treatment as well as give you tips on proper oral health. Don’t worry if your child wiggles or cries during the appointment, we understand this is a new experience and we are here to help. Stay calm and comfort them as best as you can.