Teaching children to take good care of their teeth should include regular visits to the dentist. Taking your child to the dentist can be a fun experience for both of you if you time it right and make sure that you’re properly prepared. If your baby has started cutting teeth, it’s time to start thinking about when will be best to first take them for a check-up. Family dentists are experts in dealing with children’s teeth and will be able to put both yourself and your child at ease during the visit.
What Age Is Best?
Ideally, your child should pay their first visit to the dentist before their first birthday. Starting your child off going to the dentist early not only makes sure that they’re in with the best chance of having any potential dental problems spotted as soon as possible, it’ll also help them to get used to dental visits from a young age. Taking your child to the dentist before their first birthday also helps you to get information about the best way to clean your child’s teeth and learn as much as possible as soon as possible when it comes to your child’s dental needs.
Preparing for the Visit
Before you take your child for their first visit to the dentist, it’s a good idea to ask the dentist about what to expect during the procedure so that there are no nasty surprises for either you or your child. It’s a good idea to plan a course of action for either reaction that your child may exhibit, whether it be co-operative or not. Most family dentists such as Dr. Russell Cureton DDS at Salinas Family Dentist will allow your child to bring a favorite toy such as a teddy bear into the dentist surgery with them or may even provide toys to keep your little one occupied. If your child is showing any anxiety regarding going to the dentist, the best thing to do is treat it like a game and explain how much fun it can be.
What to Expect
Many children’s first visits to the dentist are nothing much more than an introduction and getting to know the dental staff. The dentist will introduce themselves to your child and let them see the chair and equipment used for dental treatment. If an oral examination takes place and the child is under three years old, it may be necessary for you to sit in the chair and hold your child during the procedure. This can help to calm any nerves that your child may have as well as allow you to distract them by talking to them. Scheduling appointments for early on in the day when your child is awake and fresh is often the best idea. If your child is showing signs of fear or anxiety when you arrive, it may be necessary to re-schedule. Short introductions over time are usually the best way to introduce young children to going to the dentist.
How did your children react when first visiting the dentist? What would you advise other parents to do? Let us know in the comments.