A first visit to the dentist or a new dentist can be intimidating, but there is nothing to be afraid of. Whether you are going yourself for the first time or taking your child for their first visit, being aware of what to expect can help to lessen those feelings of anxiety that often accompany a new and foreign experience. Going to the dentist can get a bad rap sometimes, but it’s mostly just a quick teeth cleaning and a little talking. Once you get acquainted with your dentist, it’ll get easier and easier. Regular cleanings and check-ups will help you to achieve and maintain the best possible oral hygiene. You should be seeing a dentist about every six months.
When to Start Going
It is recommended that you start seeing the dentist within six months of getting your first tooth. You should start taking your children to the dental early on to promote good dental hygiene. Basically, if you have teeth you should be going to the dentist regularly. A first visit can be intimidating, but it’s usually short. Most dentists will just do a quick checkup and cleaning, talk to you about dental hygiene, and have you set up your next checkup.
Cleaning and Exam
For your first visit, your dentist will check your teeth for any decay, check your bite, and look for any other potential problems with gums or jaw. They will likely do a quick cleaning and possibly a fluoride treatment. Cleanings help you to have optimal oral health. A hygienist will remove any accumulated dental plaque from the outside of your teeth. They will then polish your teeth and leave them feeling fresh.
The exam will include your dentist inspecting your teeth and mouth for any signs of cavities or gum disease. They will likely talk with you about any potential problems such a tooth sensitivity or cosmetic concerns and instruct you about proper dental hygiene practices.
Your dentist will likely take a quick extra of your mouth for their records. These x-rays are taken with a digital x-ray machine. You’ll have some small wings place in your mouth to bite down on, and pictures will be taken to detect tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss, and any sort of infection. This x-ray is quick and painless.
Talk to Your Dentist
Before you meet with your dentist, you’ll likely need to speak with an assist or receptionist about any oral history they should be aware of and deal with matters of insurance. Be prepared with complete medical and health information. Then you’ll be taken back to the dental chair for your cleaning and exam. Afterward, you’ll have the chance to discuss with your dentist. This may be a good time to ask any questions you have about oral care such as cavity prevention, fluoride needs, bad habits (teeth grinding, thumb sucking, etc.), teething for your child, proper nutrition, and any other concerns you may have.