Top Tips for Successfully Introducing Your Child to the Dentist

If you’re a new parent, you may be coming up on your child’s first dental visit. In this case, both you and your child may have some questions. Your child may even have some first-time jitters. Know that this is completely normal.

Since dental visits are something that your child will need their whole life, it’s best to tackle nerves head-on. Fortunately, with lots of practice and a good approach, visiting the dentist can even be fun for kids. Here at Snodgrass-King, our offices offer kid’s areas with toys, colorful rooms, and even a fun mascot!

Keep reading to learn a few more tips for finding a dental office and how to introduce your child to their first check-up.

Pediatric Dentist

As far as dentists go, there are a variety of specialties and types. Pediatric dentists specialize specifically in caring for young children. This includes not only years of additional medical training but also hands-on practice with children. As a result, pediatric dentists are often better equipped to deal with first-visit nerves or special needs. In contrast, a general dentist is still a good option, but they may not have additional training and education to deal with young children.

For your child’s initial visit and check-up, a pediatric dentist is usually the best choice. If, at some point, specialty services such as braces or oral surgery are needed, your pediatric dentist can refer you to another specialist.

How To Choose A Pediatric Dentist

When choosing a dentist, there are a variety of considerations to take into account. Here are a few of our top tips for things to consider:

Education And Training

Dentists usually need to complete dental school and earn their DDS or DMD. If they choose to pursue a specialty (such as pediatrics), they may also have to complete additional education and clinical experience.


As a new parent or someone who just moved to a new area, finding a dental provider can be challenging. This is where word-of-mouth can be helpful. Other parents in the area can give you tips for good dentists, daycare centers, schools, and much more.

If you don’t have community connections, however, don’t worry. Google reviews can be just as helpful. Try to find a local provider that has plenty of good ratings. Read through recent reviews and pay attention to things such as empathy, quality of medical care, and customer service.


Last but not least, you always want to make sure that your dental provider is in-network. Many insurance companies have an online portal where you can log in and search for providers in your area. Just to double-check, though, you can also reach out directly to your dental office and ask. Simply give them a call during office hours, and have your insurance card info on hand.

Keep in mind that dental coverage can vary by age and the procedure being done.

Need Help Preparing Your Child To Visit The Dentist For The First Time? We Have Advice For You!

Visiting a dentist for the first time can be a daunting experience, especially for children. Fortunately, a good pediatric dentist can make this visit as smooth as possible. If your child has a positive experience during their first dental exam, they are less likely to develop fears about seeing dental specialists in the future.

Take A Trial Run To The Dentist’s Office

One of the best ways to prepare a child for their first dentist appointment is to take them on a “trial run.” This means that you and your child will visit the pediatric dental clinic to get a good idea of the environment and what the process will be like. Children fear the unknown, so by making the dental office feel familiar, you will be going a long way toward relieving that fear.

Answer Your Child’s Questions About The Dentist

Another great way to prevent fears about the dentist from arising is to allow your children to ask any questions they may have about the process. By walking them through the process, you are giving them a chance to give voice to their worries. Keep the conversation simple. You do not want to overwhelm them with too much information. Try to choose your words with care. For example, stay away from words like “shot” or “pain”.

Avoid Promising Rewards Following A Dental Visit

Although it can be tempting to promise a treat or a special experience after the visit, it is best to avoid doing this. Giving them a treat may imply the experience will not be a pleasant one. If you treat the visit normally, then your child will feel less apprehensive, and the visit will be a more positive one.

Choose A Dentist That Specializes In Pediatric Dentistry

It is important to choose a dental office that caters to children. At Snodgrass-King, our goal is to provide a relaxing and fun-filled environment. Our dental offices have cheetah print carpets, a full arcade, and even an aquarium!

All of these simple tips can make a world of difference in your child’s experience when visiting the dentist for the first time. By doing all of this, you will be ensuring that your child gets a positive experience right from the get-go.

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that this article gave you some tips for bringing in your child for their first dental visit. Just in case, here are a few last answers to questions that you might be interested in.

When Should Kids Start Going To The Dentist?

Your child’s very first dental visit should be within six months of their first tooth coming in OR by 12 months of age, whichever comes first. Remember, although it may seem silly to come in for just one tooth, it’s actually very important. Your baby can get cavities and gingivitis, same as you.

When To Start Brushing Baby Teeth?

In most cases, the answer to this is probably much sooner than you expect. Even before that very first baby tooth comes, your child’s mouth requires cleaning. During those early days, you can simply take a clean piece of wet gauze and gently wipe their gums. After the first baby tooth comes in, you can use a baby toothbrush and toothpaste to carefully brush the tooth. Remember to always wash your hands before touching your baby’s mouth; you don’t want to bring in new bacteria.

When Do Adult Teeth Come In?

At around six or seven years old, most children will begin shedding their baby teeth, and the adult teeth will start poking through. Although different teeth may take much longer to erupt than others, most people have all of their permanent teeth by 21 years of age. This may exclude wisdom teeth, though, since their eruption is a bit more complicated.

Throughout all this, it’s important to keep bringing your child in for their dental check-ups. This way, your dentist can keep an eye out for any possible misalignment issues.

When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?

Unlike the rest of your permanent teeth, wisdom teeth take much longer to come in. In fact, they usually erupt between 17 and 25 years of age. In some cases, these teeth are never able to fully erupt. In this case, these teeth are called “impacted”.

How Many Wisdom Teeth Do You Have?

Most people have about four wisdom teeth (one in each corner of their jaw). Having said that, you can have 3, 2, 1, or no wisdom teeth at all. Many wisdom teeth also become impacted, meaning that they don’t fully erupt. In this case, they may need to be extracted if it looks like they could cause problems in the future. Fortunately, however, we don’t really need our wisdom teeth as much as we used to. Although our ancestors originally used them to grind through tough foods, our diet no longer has the same challenges.

Pediatric Dentist In Tennessee

Are you still looking for that perfect fit for your child’s dental care needs? Don’t worry, Snodgrass-King Dental has your back! We’re kid-friendly and offer a variety of great specials for new patients. Starting from your child’s very first check-up all the way through braces and wisdom teeth, we’ll care for their dental needs.

The best part? We offer dental services for the whole family, regardless of age. This way, you can come in for your check-up while your child sits down for theirs. Some of our most popular adult services include teeth whitening, crowns, implants, fillings, and much more.

To schedule your first appointment, simply visit our website and hit the “Book Now” button. Our dental offices have locations throughout all of Middle Tennessee, including Franklin, Spring Hill, Murfreesboro, and Mt. Juliet, TN.