What Can My Child Expect at Their First Dental Visit?

What Can My Child Expect at Their First Dental Visit?

When you have your first child, there are many firsts to keep track of — when they begin smiling, sitting up, eating, walking, talking, and so much more. Right along with these milestones is getting their first tooth, and then watching the rest come in, one by one.

As they get these teeth (and you stay up with them at night through teething pains), you will begin to wonder when it’s time for their first dental visit. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should first see a dentist when their first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday.

At Portrait Dental, we love conducting a child’s first dental visit, but we know it can be an uncertain time for kids (and sometimes their parents) because they’ve never been to the dentist before. Here’s what you and your child can expect their first going to the dentist:

We’ll keep it relaxed

We really want this first visit to put your child at ease and get them used to coming to the dentist’s office, so this will be a quick, informal appointment. You can help prepare your child by talking to them in positive terms about the visit, and packing a favorite toy or blanket to bring along.

Dr. Minh Nguyen will greet your child warmly and get to know you and your child. He’ll spend time with you and compliment your child on how we’ll they’re doing to help keep them relaxed and put them at ease.

A quick exam

When it’s time to look in your child’s mouth, they can either sit in the exam chair or in your lap - whatever they are most comfortable with. Dr. Nguyen will count their teeth and do a quick but thorough exam, checking their teeth for any signs of decay, and examining their gums and jaws while evaluating their bite, alignment, and oral growth and development. 

Depending on the child’s comfort level, we may do a quick cleaning of their teeth, but we don’t force it if they’re not ready. Anytime we look in their mouth, we’ll explain in kid-friendly terms exactly what we’re going to do before we do it.


When the exam is finished, Dr. Nguyen will let you know what you can expect as your child’s teeth continue to come in, and he’ll explain how to brush and floss their teeth and give you overall tips for kids’ dental health. You’ll also have a chance to ask any questions you may have, such as when to stop thumb-sucking or pacifier use.

We’ll send your child home with a fun kids’ toothbrush and toothpaste (and maybe a toy or balloon!) and set up your next visit before you leave. We want you to have a fun, relaxed experience so you look forward to returning for your next appointment.

When you’re ready to schedule your child’’s first dental visit, feel free to contact Portrait Dental to set up an appointment with Dr. Nguyen. You can call the office or use our convenient online scheduler to request an appointment. We can’t wait to see your child in our office!

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