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What to Expect From Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

Park Place Kids

Taking your child to a pediatric dentist in Arlington is the best decision you can make for your child’s first dentist visit. A pediatric dentist understands childhood behavior and growth better than a general dentist, and they may assist your child throughout their childhood and adolescent years. Children typically start seeing a dentist around their first birthday.

But what should you expect when at your first pediatric dental appointment? What are some questions you should be asking, and how can you prepare your child?

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need for your child’s first visit to the Arlington pediatric dentist.

1. Welcome and Waiting

When you arrive at the pediatric dentist in Arlington, you should be greeted and welcomed warmly by the staff. They will get you checked in when you notify them of the appointment, help you feel comfortable, and inform you of the reason for your visit. Checking in may occur at a reception desk or through a check-in system.

In a typical pediatric dental office, there are usually toys or other activities for your child to play with while they wait. The staff will direct you to where those are.

2. Paperwork

For your child to be seen by the dentist, they’ll need their medical history. This is personal information and insurance information, so they can correctly bill your insurance if you have it. Filling out this paperwork to the best of your ability is essential in your child’s care because the dentist will need to know their medical history.

It’s also important for record-keeping, so the dentist can refer to past treatments and examinations for later appointments.

3. Examination

When it’s time for the examination, the staff will call you back. For younger pediatric patients, parents are encouraged to stay with their children to avoid any anxiety. Some children may be able to withstand the separation for a time, but if you think your child needs you to be with them, then talk to the staff about how you feel.

During the examination, your child may have x-rays taken to view emerging teeth, count teeth, and ask questions about dental habits. To ease the nervousness for an anxious child, the dentist may show them all the dental tools, the moving chair, and anything else interesting to help the child make sense of the appointment.

4. Cleaning and Treatments

Depending on the age of your child, they will have a dental cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth. This may take about 30 minutes or so. Once the cleaning is finished, their teeth are polished and flossed.

They may also receive some extra brushing education. The dentist will talk to them about the importance of good dental care habits, like brushing twice a day, flossing, and eating healthy foods.

Most pediatric dentists recommend sealants, a type of dental treatment that covers the surface of the back teeth to prevent cavities. If your dentist recommends them for your child, you’ll be notified before they are the treatment.

5. Assessment

After cleaning and x-rays, your child is ready to go! They might get a surprise prize from the dentist, like stickers, a small toy, or even a toothbrush and toothpaste, for all their hard work.

The dentist will talk to you about your child’s appointment and the growth and development of your child’s teeth. Depending on their age, and what treatments they may need, the dentist will discuss these with you and formulate a plan for the next visit to a Hurst pediatric dentist.

Preparing Your Child

Going to the dentist is a new experience for children, and may seem a little scary at first. However, there are a few steps you can take to prepare your child for their trip to a pediatric dentist in Hurst.

First, schedule their appointment when they’re most alert. Bringing a child who is tired or grumpy to the dentist will only make it challenging for everyone involved.

When talking to your child about their first dentist visit, you may want to watch a video about characters going to the dentist, or count their teeth. Older children might enjoy role-playing, or taking turns to be the dentist and the patient. Role-playing helps them envision and be a part of the experience before it happens.

Talk to your child about why it’s important to care for their teeth, and how caring for your teeth means caring for your whole body. The dentist helps you do that, and that’s why it’s important to visit them.

Decide when you’re going to talk with your child. Discussing their trip to the dentist too early might cause anxiety to build up. It’s best to discuss as closest to the appointment as possible, to avoid anxiety or meltdowns, and tantrums.

Don’t forget to highlight the positives! When the appointment was over, help your child find the positive things that they enjoyed. For example, getting a prize, no shots, the dentist was nice, and things like that. Allow them to come up with as many positives as possible.

As a parent, it’s also important that you prepare yourself. While this may include emotional support, if your child is very anxious about the kids’ dentist in Arlington, you want to focus on more practical issues. These include having your child’s insurance information, medical history, medications, and other important elements that the dentist needs to know.

Seeing Your Arlington Pediatric Dentist

Visiting an Arlington pediatric dentist is one of the best choices you can make for your child. When you’re up-to-date on your child’s oral health, you set them up for healthy dental habits for the rest of their life.

Do you need to make an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Arlington or a pediatric dentist in Hurst? We have two offices that cater to the needs of your child. Contact us today to schedule your consultation or appointment.