It is never too soon to begin thinking about your child’s dental health. There will be steps you need to take to make sure the first visit goes smoothly. After making it through the visit, each experience should become easier. Here are some tips to use when preparing your child for his first visit to the dentist.
When is the Right Time?
Many parents wonder when they should begin taking their children to the dentist. A good time is when their first tooth erupts or near their first birthday. Keep in mind that baby teeth are more susceptible to decay, in comparison to adult teeth. Therefore, an early intervention could help ensure that your child’s baby teeth stay healthy. If you have waited until after their first birthday, bring them in as soon as possible. It is never too late to take your child to the dentist.
You should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come in. Practice makes perfect. Plain water and soft-bristled, baby safe toothbrushes are what you will need to use. Make this a group activity that your children can do together, or with you and your spouse.
However, make sure you explain that toothbrushes are not toys. Your child should always be supervised when using this dental tool. You can allow him to practice various motions of brushing his teeth, but make sure you are there to help him brush properly.
To make brushing easier in the beginning, you should encourage participation from your child. Establishing good oral hygiene and habits early can follow your child into adulthood, and help him maintain healthy teeth and a healthy smile.
It is important for you to be positive and relaxed when taking your child to the dentist. Children are very sensitive and perceptive to their parent’s attitudes. They will mirror the behavior of their mothers and fathers. Therefore, if you are relaxed, your child will be more at ease on their first dental visit.
Choosing a Dentist
Find a great dental office that is conveniently located, offers flexible appointments and is kid-friendly. You’ll want to choose an office where the dentists and staff are caring, compassionate and helpful. If you are comfortable with the dentist, this will lead to a positive outcome for you and your child.
Prepare a List of Questions
You will need to learn as much about your child’s dental health as possible. The more you know, the better your chances are of protecting their teeth from damage and serious health issues. Although learning about how to protect children from cavities is extremely important, there are other important facts that you should know, such as:
• How to care for a child’s mouth
• How to use fluoride properly
• Bad oral habits, including thumb or finger-sucking
• How diet affects oral health
• Ways to prevent accidents that damage the face and teeth
• Teeth development and important milestones
After the first dental visit, you should have a clear idea of what your responsibilities are, pertaining to caring for your child’s teeth. You should also know about your child’s developments, and the likeliness of cavities and bites. Be sure to ask the dentist when you should schedule your child’s next visit.
You deserve a gold star for putting the dental health of your children on the right track. Good oral care could lead to healthy smiles. With the right type of assistance and preparation, your child will have a successful first dental experience, and many more visits in the future!