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Baby's first dental visit

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Babies grow in blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments. When your baby is between six and 12 months old, you'll start to see their first teeth come in. As soon as the first tooth appears, it's a good idea to make a dental appointment for your baby. The dentist can check the tooth for cavities and get them ready for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Here's how you can make this first visit a good one for both you and baby.

Start early

Any new experience is bound to be stressful at first and going to the dentist is no exception. It's a new place, with new sights and sounds that might make your baby nervous or uncomfortable. Help your child be prepared with these tips:

  1. Talk to them about what's going to happen.
  2. Stay positive and alleviate any fears they might have.
  3. Have them practice opening and closing their mouth.
  4. Read books or watch videos to help them feel more confident.

What to expect

Don't worry if your baby wiggles or can't sit still. You can sit in the dental chair and hold your baby if they aren't able or don't want to sit alone. The dentist will check for injuries, cavities and other issues, then clean your child's teeth. Lastly, they'll provide tips on taking care of their teeth at home.

A few final tips

  1. If your baby is used to napping at certain time, schedule the appointment for a time when they've rested and are more cooperative.
  2. Provide them with a light meal and have them brush their teeth before the visit so they're not hungry — or cranky.
  3. Save snacks for after the visit, so the dentist can have a clear view of your baby's teeth during the exam.
  4. If they become upset, work with your dental team to calm them so the appointment is a happier experience for everyone.
  5. For extra peace of mind, follow these four steps for choosing a dentist to find the right dentist for everyone in your family.

Learn more about taking your baby to the dentist in Baby's First Dental Visit from the American Dental Association.

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