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When is the best time for a child’s first dental visit?

Very often we are asked “When is the best time for a child’s first dental visit?”

The answer for us is “as early as possible!

We think that the very WORST time for a first visit for any child is when they are in pain or in need of treatment and they have never met us before.

We’re happy to do children’s examinations with no out-of-pocket expenses until children are 5 years of age.

What age should a child start seeing the dentist?

The age you should bring your child to see the dentist depends on:

  • the maturity of the child
  • their comfort interacting with other people
  • their ability to cope with a clinical environment

Hopefully, from the age of 2 or 3, we can build up some routines with the children that help immensely if we actually need to do some dentistry!

What happens at a child’s first dentist appointment?

When children visit our practice we:

  1. At first, we encourage children to be in the surgery with their parents so that they’re not the centre of attention
  2. Gradually, over a few visits if necessary, the child can sit in the chair
  3. We then introduce the concept of looking in their mouth over a series of small steps. The first of these is usually using our intraoral camera to show them their teeth on our screen attached to the chair.
  4. At the end of the visit we also have a “present box” for a bit of fun – but keep that a secret!

The aim is to introduce the use of gloves, masks, instruments and even the concept of their role in opening, closing and sitting still over a period of time.