When Should I Start Bringing My Child To The Dentist?

Did you know that the Canadian Dental Association recommends that the first visit to the Dentist take place 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth? This is usually before your child’s first birthday and although it may seem like a very young age, there’s an excellent reason for it. We want to start your child off right by familiarizing them with both oral hygiene and the dental professionals who will assist them and their family with their oral health.

How do I prepare my child and myself for the first visit?

We know that going to the dentist for the first time can make some people uneasy, so here are some do’s and don’ts to help alleviate some of the first visit anxiety.

Doctor demonstrating proper dental care.

Some first visit DO’s:

  • Take some time to play “dentist” with your child at home. Pretend that you’re counting their teeth, then switch roles and let your child play “dentist”.
  • Encourage your child to brush their own teeth, and then join them by completing the process to ensure that their teeth are brushed properly.
  • Read your child a pleasant story about going to the dentist.
  • Consider bringing your young child to the dentist office for your own or a sibling’s appointment so that they can see how easy and friendly visiting the office is.
  • Openly discuss your questions and concerns with the dental professionals when booking your child’s visit.

Some first visit DON’Ts:

  • Don’t convey anxiety about the dental visit to your child. For example, don’t say “It’s OK, the dentist won’t hurt you” or “The dentist won’t need to use the injector”.  These are usually the parent’s fears, not the child’s.
  • Don’t wait for an emergency before bringing your child for their first visit.
  • Don’t worry if the child cries a little during the visit. A very young child may react that way but will be won over!
  • Don’t use negative words like: hurt, shot, needle, or drill around your child.

What will happen at our first visit?

At Dawson Dental, we love kids! We want your child’s first experience to occur at a time before invasive dental work becomes necessary. A ride on the dental chair, magic tricks with “Mr. Thirsty” and visiting the toy chest will make your child’s visit pleasurable and non-threatening. The first visit will also include the counting of teeth while your child looks at what is happening in a hand held mirror. Remember, early dental check-ups make it easier to build a good rapport with your child to establish a foundation of trust and comfort for future visits.

When should the next visit be?

After the first visit, we will often recommend that children return for a routine hygiene maintenance appointment every 6 months.  This will allow us to ensure that their oral hygiene is being cared for properly and to catch any potential issues before they require invasive dental work.

Please call us and set up a time to bring your little ones to visit. We also offer day care, school and group tours – we’d love to help arrange a tour of our office and show kids how easy and fun it is to get started on a lifetime of good dental health.

Learn more about the importance of taking your child to the dentist by watching this video from Global News .

Dawson Dental Centres are knowledgeable, caring Downtown Toronto dentists in 17 locations across Ontario including Downtown Toronto, Cambridge, Aurora and more. We offer General & Cosmetic Dentistry services such as dental implantsInvisalign invisible braces and dental veneers. New patients are warmly welcome!