Fun fact. Did you know that you could bring your child in to see the dentist BEFORE they get their first tooth? It might sound a little premature, but there are many, many reasons why it’s a great idea for them, and for you!
For starters, establishing a dental home for them asap can alleviate a ton of potential stress. Imagine a world where you can take your child to the dentist, and it is completely drama free and fun from start to finish? Sounds like a win-win to me, don’t you think? Naturally, we want to make sure that your child is excited to come to the dentist, and eliminate the idea of fear altogether. But it is also important to check in on their health and development very early on.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends by the age of 1, or six months after their first tooth erupts, they should start coming to their established dentist regularly. Educating them on the practice of hygiene, checking their gums, making sure they are eating and drinking what is proper for them, etc. They are all essential things to start early on and be ahead of the game during the developmental process. And who knows, maybe something that they ate beforehand could be hurting their baby teeth? Catching that early on can save a whirlwind of hassle and health related troubles that could appear in the future.
Dr. Rachel Iospa, one of our many beloved doctors on our team at Tribeca Dental Studio (also Director of Pediatric Dentistry at Staten Island University Hospital mind you), takes early dentistry very seriously. I’m always so impressed when a child comes in nervous and hesitant, and leaves the office balloon in hand with not only a sparkle in their smile. And it’s not always the kiddos that leave with a happy conscience. Sometimes it can be challenging in those early stages, I give you props parents! Making sure they don’t make it a habit to suck their thumbs or bottles too much, getting them to brush their teeth after eating, teaching them the importance of what is healthy to eat, it can be a lot. The best part is, you’re not alone. Pediatric dentists are here to not only keep them healthy, but happy and ready to come back!
Bringing them in early gives them a head start, gives you peace, and gives the doctors the opportunity to develop a long-lasting healthy relationship with the entire family.
At TDS, there are many ways to make the first visit a good first impression on the little ones. From having them sit on your lap, to letting them see all of the instruments, to even letting them brush our Mascot’s teeth, we do everything to make them feel safe and included. Granted, when their teeth actually arrive it makes the most sense to visit the dentist, but we never want them to be scared to come in, so why not come beforehand to make them excited when the first one pops up? Even if it’s just a visit to say hello and play for a little while to become familiar with the space.
If you’re a first time parent, coming early can be helpful for you too! They are happy to answer any and all of your questions, and give you helpful guidance to ease the process of those first steps.
“That first visit is imperative, because when they finally do come in for an emergency or if they are in pain, they recall their happy experience and it eases their discomfort and they are more apt to trust the process.”Dr. Rachel Iospa
I asked Dr. Rachel the other day, “Other than the health related aspects, what else makes it important to bring them in early?” I became enlightened with her response.
“Well, when they come in for their first visit, which is most likely nutritional counseling, an exam, and what to expect in the future, we do everything we can to make it a happy experience. When kids are super little and they come in with trauma from falling down and breaking a tooth, we see it a lot where they are in pain and scared if we haven’t seen them before, and we don’t want that. That first visit is imperative, because when they finally do come in for an emergency or if they are in pain, they recall their happy experience and it eases their discomfort and they are more apt to trust the process.”
Beforehand, I wasn’t aware of that. However, if I had a pleasant first experience when I was a toddler, I would have avoided all the memories per my last blog about my own trauma as a child. Now I fully endorse it, and I will absolutely bring my kids in as soon as they can remember things. I would NEVER want my kids to experience what I did. I just wish I had the doctors I work with now when I was young, I think I would have wanted to stay and hang out in the play area, driving my mom crazy because I wouldn’t want to leave.
Health is a priority, one thousand percent. But mental comfort-ability is just as essential. Your doctor should feel like part of the family in a sense. And finding a practice where they can call it their dental home for life, is a blessing.
Yeah, it might sound a little out of the norm, but who doesn’t want their kids to always feel comfortable and confident? We are always here to provide that safe space for everyone in your family, because we care about every aspect of your dental journey.
Best advice I can give, bring them in. Let them say hi, and let us welcome you with open arms to give you and your children the happy home you have been searching for.
With Love and Health,