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Your Child’s First Visit

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It is important for your child to see a Dentist or a Dental hygienist at around one year of age or within six months of getting their first tooth.
How to prepare for the first visit
  • Have your child practise opening his or her mouth wide so that you can count your child’s teeth. Using a small spoon to pull back the cheek can help children anticipate what the mouth mirror will feel like.
  • Read books about visiting an oral health professional with your child.
  • Watch a video about going to a dental appointment.
  • Avoid talking about negative experiences that you may have had at the dental office as a child.

What to expect at the first visit

  • Your child will take a ride in the chair, either on their own or in their parent’s or caregiver’s lap.
  • Your child will be given sunglasses to wear so that the dental hygienist can position the light over your child’s mouth.
  • The dental hygienist will wear a mask to prevent the spread of germs.
  • The dental hygienist will likely use only a mirror to examine your child’s mouth.
  • The dental hygienist will show you how to keep your child’s mouth clean
  • X-rays are unlikely to be recommended unless there is a significant concern.

At this visit, you will find out:

  • if you’re doing a good job of keeping your child’s teeth clean at home
  • if your child’s teeth are developing normally
  • if there are any issues that need to be addressed

The first dental visit is a perfect time to discuss your child’s eating patterns with your dental hygienist. Any effects from thumb sucking or pacifier use can also be explored, and your dental hygienist will answer any questions you may have. Hopefully after this visit, your child will be comfortable with having others look in his or her mouth.

After the first dental visit, regular appointments should be scheduled at intervals recommended by your dental hygienist. These regular appointments can prevent problems from arising and ensure that emerging issues are addressed promptly.

Your dental family —partners in prevention!


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Written by Fotini Molnar

Dr. Fotini Molnar started her dental experience working as a dental assistant in a co-op program during high school. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Science, majoring in biotechnology at York University and then obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Toronto. Prior to her career in dentistry, Dr. Molnar researched neuroblastoma at Sick Kids Hospital.
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