It’s never too early to worry about your child’s dental health. It’s vital to keep their little teeth and gums healthy, whether they have a few or a full set. The dentists recommend booking an appointment by the time they sprout a tooth or turn one year old, whichever comes first.
It’s never too late, even if your child is older. Early visits help your child develop a favorable relationship with the dentist, making future visits and procedures less stressful for both of you. They’ll also establish strong oral hygiene practices early on, ensuring a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Preparing your child for their first dental visit can be simple. Your child is certainly aware of what’s going on around them, so a dentist’s appointment can be frightening. Consider these tips for your child’s first and future dental visits:
Find An Awesome Dentist
Finding your child’s pediatric dentist is the first step. To work with children with specific needs, pediatric dentists need considerable training after dental school. When looking for a pediatric dentist, there are several things to consider.
The following are a few suggestions for expanding your list of requirements in order to identify the ideal dentist for your child.
Is the dentist close by? Long rides might cause anxiety in your child. It shouldn’t be too far. This is critical during dental emergencies. This will help you arrive at the dentist’s clinic much quicker and on time.
A Positive Vibe
The dentist you choose should be fun. Getting a child’s attention and listening can be challenging. However, there are several techniques to capture a child’s interest. For example, a dentist can tell a funny joke that the kid likes so he can seize the child’s attention.
A dentist can apply storytelling techniques to introduce new dental instruments, equipment, and procedures. They can also use flavored toothpaste, toys, stickers, and games. Most dentists like at Dentex Dental strive to provide a fun, kid-friendly environment.
The dentist and staff establish trust when children have fun. When they have fun, kids will likely look forward to their next appointment. It’s ideal when a dentist can make the child intrigued rather than scared because the child will want more.
Licenses And Qualifications
A child’s dentist must be licensed and qualified. This is a must-check before choosing one. Becoming a licensed pediatric dentist has various qualifications. To become a licensed dentist, all dentists must complete their dentistry education, but pediatric dentists go through more.
After locating a few nearby dentists, read the online reviews for each. Online reviews can provide you with an excellent indication of a dentist’s services, clinical skills, and how well they work with specific age groups.
It’s critical to conduct research about possible children’s dentists. You should inquire as to whether dental practice provides general or specialty care.
General care practice can include exams, cavity treatment, and other routine procedures. If your kid requires specific therapy that they’re unable to give, they’ll be able to recommend you to a reputable clinic that can.
Parents’ dental phobia might occasionally rub off on their kids. Parents who dislike dentist visits should avoid expressing their discomfort in front of their children. Talking about negative dental experiences and future operations is off-limits.
Parents are advised to talk positively about dentists. Use kid-friendly language and answer inquiries honestly without startling or leaving much to the imagination. When it’s time to go to the dentist, they must be cheerful.
Fear of the unknown often causes dental treatment phobias. If you don’t tell your child what to expect before taking them to the dentist, they’ll be scared when a stranger starts poking instruments in their mouth.
Explain to your child the principles of dental care, starting with brushing and flossing, a few weeks before their first dental visit. Remind them of the importance of proper oral care and that visiting a dentist will keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Practice Exam At Home
As mentioned, a stranger poking and prodding you in the mouth, especially in an unusual location, might be terrifying for your kids. You can reduce anxiety by practicing it at home.
You can either perform this on your child’s mouth or use a stuffed animal or doll instead. Rehearse what to expect at the dentist. If your child is old enough to understand, explain everything you do. You can play pretend to make it fun.
The Way to Go
Open your child’s mouth to examine their teeth. The dentist wants to check their teeth and make sure they’re healthy. Use positive words.
If your child has any dentist-themed toys, use them to show them how the dentist works. Don’t say anything that’s hurting because it may cause undue fear about something while they’re at the dentist.
Watch Videos Or Read Books About Dentist Visits
When kids watch their favorite cartoon character having fun at the dentist, it helps them become positive about dental visits. There are many videos and books about dentist visits, like the famous ‘Elmo Visits The Dentist’ or ‘Peppa Pig Goes To The Dentist’ that kids will surely love.
Preparing your youngster for the dentist in this manner helps to ensure their first visit won’t be as scary or surprising.
Prepare The Dentist
Give the dentist your child’s thorough medical history during the first visit. Tell the dentist if your child is stubborn, disobedient, or frightened, in other situations. Keep an eye on your kid. Many parents can predict their child’s reaction and should tell the dentist beforehand.
Bring Your Child To Your Dental Appointment
By accompanying you, your child can learn that a visit to the dentist is not scary. Your child will learn that dental exams are not painful by observing your polite interaction with the dentist.
Taking your child to the dentist may not be the best option if you’re nervous. They can read your emotions and link the dentist with a bad experience.
Time It Right
Finally, ensure that your visit is timed well. Every parent knows that their child has good and bad days. Scheduling their first visit when they’re hungry or exhausted is a big no-no. Instead, arrange their visit time when they’re relaxed and happy. Don’t give them sugar or caffeine before the appointment.
Significantly, never bring your child to their first dentist’s appointment if they’re sick. As a result, everyone who’s involved will have a terrible experience. Appointments in the morning are better because most children are in a good mood in the early morning hours.
What You Can Expect During Your Child’s First Visit
The dentist will inspect your child’s jaw and teeth to ensure proper development. If your child is unable or unwilling to sit alone in the dental chair, you should try sitting in the chair with your kid on your lap.
Concerns like tooth decay, injuries, swollen gums, and other concerns will be examined. After that, the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and provide you with daily care advice such as instructions on diet and oral hygiene, proper use of fluoride, how to prevent cavities, etc.
Don’t worry if your youngster cries or wiggles during the exam. It’s normal, and the dental staff understands this. Moreover, this is a great opportunity to have all of your questions and concerns addressed. Finally, a follow-up appointment schedule will be recommended based on your child’s risk variables and dental health status.
Why Is Early Dental Care Important For Your Kids
Early dental care is essential for a child’s development. The dentist can identify potential mouth problems and provide dental health guidance for children. The time spent at the dental clinic will be well worth it. Additionally, taking your child to the dentist will make them more comfortable visiting in the future.
Here are a few reasons to take your child to the dentist regularly:
- To Avoid Building Up Bacteria and Infection: Youngsters eat a lot of candy. They also don’t remember to brush or floss their teeth. With that, infections and bacteria risks can increase. Eliminating oral bacteria before it penetrates the gums requires an early dental examination.
- It Gives Parents Support: During dental checkups, parents are informed about proper oral care for their children. Parents will learn about healthy brushing, flossing, and dieting. The dentist can help educate parents on issues such as thumb sucking that can impair a child’s dental development.
- It Encourages Good Habits: Early dental visits help children develop good dental habits. Your dentist will instruct you and your children about dental health. Early dental visits help children feel more comfortable with dental exams, and they can build trust with their dentist. This helps them cope with dental concerns as they get older.
Using the above advice will help your child prepare for their first pediatric dental visit. Tell them the dentist is their buddy and will help them maintain their oral health. If your kid needs extra support, ask the dentist for advice. Remember that regular dental visits are required to keep your kid’s mouth healthy.
If you want to schedule your child’s first dental exam, dentists are always available to assist you. Contact them to schedule an appointment.