When Should You Take Your Child For Their First Dental Visit
Ideally, once the first tooth becomes visible or by 12 months of age, your child is ready for their first visit to the dentist. It is good to take your child to “normalise” visiting the dentist at a young age. Their first experience is important so make sure you take them to a dentist with the right skills to look after your little one and make their visit a pleasant one.
At their first and subsequent visits, the dentist will make sure your child is as comfortable as possible. They will do a thorough examination of the teeth and mouth. They will discuss topics such as brushing and flossing techniques, bite, soft tissues (gums and cheeks), risk of tooth decay and cavities whilst discussing preventive methods including giving nutritional advice, and they will discuss habits such as thumb-sucking.
As a parent you play a vital role in how the dentist is perceived by your child. It is important that they do not fear the dentist. Here are some tips to help prepare your child for their first visit and subsequent visits to the child dentist near Doncaster:
- Don’t use the dentist as a deterrent, punishment or refer to the visit to a dentist as a negative experience. Phrases like “if you don’t brush your teeth the dentist will give you a needle and drill your teeth or pull them out” is not a way to encourage good oral hygiene. It just embeds fear into your child and is not productive.
- Leading up to the dental visit you can play dentist and patient and make it a fun experience whilst helping your child see that the dentist is there to help us look after our teeth.
- Where possible book an appointment at a time your child is likely to be more alert or fresh (e.g. first thing in the morning or after a scheduled nap time)
- If you have dental anxieties, it’s important to not appear to be anxious or fearful of yourself or the dentist when discussing the dentist with your child. Children pick up on their parent’s fear and will associate negative experiences with going to the dentist. Staying calm whilst visiting the child dentist with your child can help keep your child calm also.
- Don’t refer to pain when discussing the dentist, even if mentioning that it will not be painful. The child may not even be worried or fearful of pain at their dental visit but may start to worry about the issue if it is raised by you.
As a child dentist, Lincoln Dental clinicians are the right experts to ensure your child’s first visit is a smooth and pleasant experience at the dentist. Our patients travel from near or far, Doncaster and beyond, as they know we are the right professionals for all of their dental needs.