Preparing Children for Their First Dental Examinations

Dental Cleaning And Examinations Albuquerque, NM

Just as with adults, regular dental examinations are an important component of health and wellness in children. Early experiences can set the tone for how people prioritize and manage visits to the dentist into adolescence and adulthood. A memorable unpleasant experience can instill a negative mindset towards dental care in the future. Fortunately, preparing a child for their first big visit can help make the appointment less stressful and even enjoyable.

The importance of dental checkups during early childhood

The American Dental Association recommends that parents schedule a child's first dental appointment soon after the first teeth appear above the gum line. Most dental insurance plans cover this type of regular six-month checkup for every age. While some may think dental care is not important when dealing with baby teeth, these cleanings and evaluations are important in building healthy oral care routines. In addition, visiting the dentist at a young age helps professionals detect issues that can be corrected more easily in early childhood:

  • Malocclusion
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Narrow palate
  • Unhealthy oral habits

Whether treatment is prescribed in the form of lifestyle changes or dental intervention, early detection can save time, money, complications and unnecessary discomfort down the road.

Tips for children's first dental examinations

In order to set a child up for success, it is beneficial to be proactive about preparing for any type of medical or dental appointment. Helping a child feel safe and comfortable during this experience can lead to improved health and wellness in the future.

Searching for a kid-friendly location

Parents should use available resources to research nearby locations. Online reviews or word of mouth are excellent sources to be considered when searching for a family dentist. While pediatric dentists focus on working with children and may offer several age-appropriate amenities, a general dentist is also qualified to treat kids of all ages. Both should be considered during the search. 

Starting at the recommended age

By bringing children to the dentist during the first year of life, they are able to build familiarity with the environment. This also allows kids to bond with the staff and build trust with the dentist. By starting at the ADA recommended age, children are usually more comfortable once the treatment process becomes more in-depth.

Using books and visual media to prepare children ahead of time

It is unlikely that toddlers will remember prior visits to the dentist. Discussing an upcoming appointment by using books, movies or television shows can help a child prepare for the visit and know what to expect. The process should begin at least two weeks beforehand so that the child has enough time to learn and process the information.

Prioritizing oral hygiene at home

Children who do not brush and floss frequently at home will probably be frightened by dental examinations. However, routine home care can make the experience feel more familiar and less frightening. In addition to brushing and flossing every day, parents can practice inspecting the child's teeth while having them lie back on a sofa or changing table.


Regular dental examinations are helpful and important for young children. Proper planning can help prepare children for a more positive experience.

Request an appointment here: or call Family Choice Dental at (505) 634-5657 for an appointment in our Albuquerque office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Examinations in Albuquerque, NM.

Related Posts

What Happens At A Dental Cleaning?

A dental cleaning is key in maintaining good oral health, as it removes any buildup of plaque and tartar, which can negatively affect the entire oral cavity. Things like cavities, gum disease, or abscesses are much more likely to occur if routine dental cleanings are not done, which is why general dentists recommend them twice…

When Is A Complete Dental Exam Recommended?

A complete dental exam involves a thorough inspection of your teeth, gums, jaw, neck, and head. The dentist scans for existing issues in your mouth and health issues like oral cancer. Your oral health is closely liked to your overall health because issues like gum disease increase your risk of health issues like pneumonia, heart…

5 Things A Dental Cleaning Does For You

It is a known fact that routine dental cleaning is an important part of oral health. The American Dental Association recommends that people with an overall healthy mouth visit a dentist for a regular checkup and cleaning once every six months. Those with specific dental issues or certain underlying health conditions may need to schedule…

What Happens During A Dental Cleaning And Why It Is Important

Looking for more information about what a dental cleaning entails? Regular dental cleanings are an essential part of maintaining good oral health.While most people tend to make their regular dental appointments every year, there are some people who can visit the dentist less often and some who will need to visit more often, as everyone…