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When should you first bring your kids to the dentist?



One of the questions I get asked very often; is when is the best time to bring your child to the dentist for the first time?

Ideally your child should come to the dentist when they get their first teeth or by their first birthday.

Why so early?

It can be a very daunting place especially when you’re little.

Some of the reasons why:

  • It smells funny (I no longer notice this, but apparently dental practices have a distinctive clinical smell)
  • There is lots of strange equipment there, a big chair with a light for one.
  • It’s full of strange people.
  • The strange people wear rubber gloves!
  • You’re asked to open your mouth for one of the strangers.

So one of the main reasons for bringing your child at such a young age, is to make them accustomed to all these strange things little by little.

Another is that it allows the dentist to impart some excellent advice on safe (to teeth) snacks and drinks, and how to care for your child’s teeth.

But you think they are too young…

Don’t worry there is nothing scary going to happen to your baby. These early visits are all about building your child’s confidence with dental appointments.

  • If they sit on the dental chair – brilliant.
  • If not – it is no big deal.
  • They are never forced into doing something they are not ready for.
  • The dentist will make a wee fuss of them, meet them at their level – even if that means sitting on their hunkers.
  • Then give them some nice stickers.
  • It’s always positive.

What if you’ve missed that timing?

Firstly don’t worry if your child is over 1 year old and you have not brought them to the dentist. Instead get an appointment booked soon.

The worst time is when a child has a dental problem that needs some intervention, and they have never been before.

  • They are in pain and may have missed out on some sleep.
  • Mum and/or dad are distressed because child is in pain.
  • And the child is meeting all the strange things, smells and people for the first time and is expected to go straight to being cooperative, sitting on dental chair, opening their mouth and maybe having some treatment.

This can be a very stressful time for everyone involved.

Dental disease is totally preventable if the advice is given early enough and safe snacks and drinks are what your child is given.

All three dentists in our practice are happy to treat children and give some positive advice and care.

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“Cannot fault the service from this practice. All the staff are warm, friendly and welcoming. The skills and expertise from Claire and her team are second to none. I would have no hesitation recommending it. 😁”

Jo G

Claire Hughes Dental
  • Spencer House
  • L'Derry
  • Northern Ireland
  • BT47 6QA