Seeing your children develop and accomplish different milestones can be a source of joy and excitement for the entire family. Keep in mind that certain key milestones, like their first dental appointment, might occur before their first birthday. These need a significant amount of planning ahead of time. This isn’t very comforting for any parent. A lot would depend on getting hold of a clinic in your city that performs dental check-ups for children. For instance, if you are in Canada, try searching pediatric dentistry in Calgary for your kid’s first dental check-up.
Therefore, regardless of your child’s age, we’ve put together a little guide to help you prepare for their first dental appointment. Continue reading to discover more about the next major milestone.
When should your child see a dentist?
Unless you see anything alarming before then, we recommend that you bring your kid for their first dental appointment when they are approximately two years old. While baby teeth will fall out to make room for adult teeth, they will set the tone for your child’s smile’s future and health. Regular visits every 6–12 months are essential to teach and support excellent oral health behaviours early on in life. It is also easy to make them more comfortable with dental visits when children are young.
What can you expect from the first visit?
First, you must ensure that your kid feels at ease. Kids will be more inclined to participate if you ease them into the visit. The dental clinic might have a dedicated playroom for kids well-stocked with toys and provide a terrific introduction to the clinic. The entire dental clinic might adore children, so you can be assured that by the time your child sits in the dentist chair, they will have made numerous new best friends. Here’s what more to expect during the consultation;
– A complete medical history of your kid.
– A discussion on cleaning teeth (how often, which toothbrush and toothpaste to use, and how long to do it).
– Taking care of any teething or thumb sucking difficulties.
– Advice on how to eat to maintain your teeth strong and healthy.
– An examination of your child’s bite and how the teeth should come together.
While a complete cleaning may not be possible on the first appointment, this first encounter can help your kid feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. The dentist will assess your kid’s teeth, gums, jaw, bite, and any other oral concerns within their mouth.
Prepare yourself as a parent.
To prepare, arrive on time, if possible, a few minutes early to fill out any necessary registration and mandatory paperwork. Many offices have registration forms available on their websites, which you may fill out ahead of time.
Give the dentist your child’s comprehensive medical history. You can also get answers to common questions about braces from a child’s perspective when you visit a pediatrician. Make a list of any drugs your kid is taking, as well as the doses. Make a list of your child’s paediatrician’s contact information. If you have any specific questions for the dentist, write them, so you don’t forget to ask them if the dentist doesn’t bring them up during your appointment.
How to prepare your kid for the first dental visit?
Consider seeing the clinic before making an appointment with a fantastic pediatric dentist. This can help your kid prepare for the dentist by allowing them to become comfortable with the sights and noises.
Tell your kid about the first visit.
When children or adults are unsure about what to anticipate, their imaginations can go wild and not in a good manner. As a result, we don’t advise parents to inform their children about their first dental consultation too much in advance. It can cause a lot of stress. It’s also not a good idea to fully surprise them by showing up at the dentist without notice. The best chance is to inform them of the visit the morning before the appointment. Tell them that a friendly dentist will count their teeth and tell them how to maintain a healthy grin. Respond to their queries, but don’t go into too much detail.
Show them videos and read them books about going to the dentist.
When children witness their favourite characters enjoying themselves at the dentist, it helps put a positive spin on the situation. Children will enjoy a variety of films and books about going to the dentist. Preparing your kid for the dentist in this manner ensures that when their first appointment arrives, they’ll know what to expect, and it won’t feel like a terrifying, unfamiliar circumstance.
Play games with your kid.
Dentist games for kids may be a great way to demystify the process and prepare them for their first dental appointment. Don’t know where to begin? Pretend to be a dentist. Get your child’s toothbrush out and place them on a chair. Assume the role of a dentist and count and wash their teeth. Discuss what you’re doing and why it’s essential to maintain good dental hygiene. Then, swap roles or let your kid have a turn being the dentist with a stuffed animal.
Book appointments wisely.
This isn’t necessarily a recommendation for getting your kid ready for the dentist, but it can help you avoid tantrums and tears. Book your kid’s first dental visit when they are usually in a good mood. It usually works best after a nap and a meal. Kids are less tolerant of unfamiliar surroundings and less cooperative when hungry or sleepy.
Use of positive reinforcement.
If your kid is terrified of the dentist and is nervous before their first dental appointment, reassure them that this is entirely normal and provide plenty of positive reinforcement by complimenting them on overcoming their fears and being courageous. We’ve seen everything as pediatric dentists, so don’t worry if your child isn’t cooperative or screams during the appointment. It occurs, and it gets easier with each visit. Rather than concentrating on what went wrong, make a point of highlighting all that went right. Tell your kid how proud you are of the positive elements of the appointment and how you and they can work together to overcome the unfavourable aspects.
Bring their friends.
Bring a beloved pet animal or toy to the first dentist appointment if your kid has one. They will feel comfortable and secure if they have a known, cherished friend.
You can make your kid feel secure and ready to sit in the dentist’s chair by using these ideas to prepare them for their first dental visit.