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First Visit

first dental visit what to expect
first dental visit what to expect
first dental visit what to expect
brick wall urbana pediatrics.jpeg

Baby’s First Visit

In order to prevent dental problems, your baby should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday. This recommendation comes from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). To schedule your baby’s first dental appointment with our board-certified pediatric dentist, please call our office at 301-882-3105

Dental Care is Important during the First Year of Life

Proper care for baby teeth is imperative as they serve several critical functions, including:

  • Fostering good nutrition by permitting proper chewing

  • Aiding speech development

  • Helping proper development of permanent teeth by saving space for them


Baby teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay from their very first appearance, on average between the ages of six and 12 months.

  • The associative pain of tooth decay can prevent a child from eating correctly, impacting overall health and development. Additionally, undetected and untreated tooth decay can lead to infection, loss of teeth and expensive and mostly preventable emergency and restorative interventions.

  • A scientific paper in the journal Pediatric Dentistry revealed that children who wait to have their first dental visit until age two or three are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits.

Benefits of the Year One Dental Visit

  • Visiting a pediatric dentist by the time the first baby tooth appears enables the child to begin a lifelong preventive dental care program to minimize tooth decay and cavities.

  • Not only can pediatric dentists detect early tooth decay, but they also provide parents with information on proper oral and facial development and growth, determine fluoride needs and more.

  • The year one dental visit can actually save money. A study in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who have their first dental visit before age one have 40 percent lower dental costs in their first five years than children who do not, due to the cost of dental and medical procedures that may be necessary as a result of poor oral health.


If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s dental needs, please give us a call @ 301-882-3105! We are here to get your baby on the right track for a lifetime of healthy and beautiful smiles!

Preparing Your Child

We want the best possible experience for your child and for him/her to feel at ease being at the dentist for a lifetime of healthy smiles. The American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing dental home by age 1.

Q. What can I do to prepare my family for my child’s first visit?

A. It's important to speak calmly and positively about the upcoming visit, even if you have feelings of anxiety about dentists!

  • Your vocabulary matters! Dr. Dina always tries to connect with your child at his/her language base. Sometimes this requires using word substitutes that create less anxiety.

    • Words to use: count, clean, brush, vitamins, splash, tickle, water, hugs, tickle, toothbrush, princesses, superheroes. These are easy words for your child to understand and are more fun. Here are some specific examples:

    • Words we don’t use: pull out teeth, shots, needles, drills. These words can scare adults; why would saying these words to your child help them? Please do your best to not use these words with your child.

  • If your child needs a procedure, please wait to let us explain it to him/her. We are fluent in “kid” and we can help translate the terms to more kid-friendly language.

  • Make this exciting and fun! We will do our part to make this as fun as can be, but we need your help. Please try not to let others tease your child about going to the dentist and unknowingly create a nervous kiddo. Talk about dentistry in a positive way! Here are some great resources to hype up the visit.


Some books that you can order or check out at your local library:

  • “We’re Going to the Dentist”

  • “What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist”

  • “Dentist Trip with Peppa Pig”

  • One title we recommend AVOIDING is “Bernstein Bears Visit the Dentist” because the Sister Bear gets a tooth removed and we don’t want your child to expect that to happen.


If you feel comfortable with screen time, these are great episodes to watch before the visit:

  • “Daniel Tiger Gets his Teeth Cleaned” – Daniel Tiger visits Dr. Plat for his very first dental visit. This is a Youtube link, but the full episode is available on PBS website and Amazon Prime Video.

  • “Peppa Pig Visits the Dentist” – Peppa and George visit the dentist. George is a little bit anxious and brings his dinosaur to help him with his visit. Great idea, George! – We encourage bringing your child’s favorite toy to help accompany him/her for the visit.

Q. What happens at the first visit?

A. Here at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry, we have set up our office to make your kids comfortable during every visit—especially the first one!

  • Dr. Dina will attempt a comprehensive evaluation. In order to do a comprehensive exam, sometimes dental radiographs will be required. Dr. Dina follows the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommendations on prescribing for radiographs (x-rays). Your child will also get a dental cleaning and fluoride application.

  • If your child is younger, the first appointment will often be a simple, short one to allow the child and parent the chance to get used to our office and our team. At this visit we will also teach parents about their child’s oral health and development and how to properly care for their child’s teeth. Please feel free to bring your child’s favorite stuffed animal so Dr. Dina can do an exam demonstration to your child!

  • If your child is more anxious and in a non-emergency situation, Dr. Dina may recommend using the first appointment as a de-sensitization visit. It means we will use the first appointment to help your child get used to our office and meet our team before doing any routine procedures or needed treatment. We sometimes recommend this approach so that the child has a chance to have a quick visit that is pleasant enough to help alleviate any feelings of anxiety and fear. You can schedule another visit in a week and can use the time to review all the positive aspects of what happened on the initial visit and get your child excited about the next one. Dr. Dina will discuss all of this with you and come up with an individualized plan.

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