Making Your Child’s First Dental Visit a Positive Experience
Good dental care from an early age will ensure that your child has good teeth, gums and all-over health for years to come and that’s why the Canadian Dental Association recommends that you take your child for a first dentist visit around the time of his /her first birthday, or within six months of the time when the first tooth erupted.
However, if your baby has transitioned from a bottle to a cup, and no longer drinks or snack in the night, you can usually delay this visit until your child is two years old. From then, a bi-annual visit is recommended. Your child’s first dental visit can be a positive experience.
When Should I Start With Home Dental Care?
It is equally important to take care of the gums as it is to care for teeth. That’s why you should get an early start on dental care by cleaning the gums with a soft, clean, damp cloth long before your child sprouts a first tooth.
Taking care to limit sugar intake from a young age will not only prevent tooth decay, but it will establish healthy choices from early on, ensuring a healthy life from a holistic perspective.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit Explained
The objective of your child’s first dental visit is mostly about helping him / her become familiar with the dentist and to help you understand how to best take care of those tiny pearly whites. This first dental visit is a must, because:
- It helps you find out whether your home dental care is working.
- The dentist can spot early problems and sort them out before they become problematic.
- Your child will learn that going to the dentist is a good thing.
This first dentist visit should be a positive experience, which is why it is so important to choose the right dentist. You could take your little one to your own dentist, which might be familiar to your child, or you could find a pediatric dentist who specialises in treating children. Call the dentist to find out the age at which he or she prefers to start seeing children.
How to Prepare Your Child for His or Her First Visit to the Dentist
One of the reasons why we recommend an early first dental experience, is to make the first visit to a dentist a positive one for your child. Most children have no problems when they first visit the dentist at such a young age.
Children are highly attuned to their parents’ emotions, and will sense your anxiety if you’re a nervous patient. It would be better for your child if someone who is not nervous takes him or her to the dentist.
Be careful not to use anxiety-inducing words when you speak to your child about the first dental visit. Simply explain how he / she will get to sit in the “aeroplane chair” and how the dentist will simply look inside his / her mouth to ensure that all is well. Don’t use phrases such as “it will not hurt” or “you don’t need to be scared”.
During the first 4-6 years, your dentist will order your child’s first set of x-rays, to see whether there are any cavities in between the teeth and to look at the structure of your child’s mouth.
Between the ages of 6-12, your child will lose his or her baby teeth to be replaced by permanent teeth. During this time, your child’s dentist may recommend sealing the teeth with a plastic resin bond to prevent cavities. This treatment mostly affects the molars, which are particularly prone to cavities.
Choose Holland Dental for Your Child’s First Dentist Visit
Here at Holland Landing Dentistry, we work with the whole family. We love children and take extra special care to ensure their teeth are strong, healthy and pearly white by the time the Tooth Fairy visits.
Feel free to contact us today if you have more questions about your child’s first dentist visit.