The general dentistry rule of thumb is simple, by your child’s first birthday their first dental appointment should already have been scheduled. Starting dental visits early ensures your child’s oral healthcare routine settles in before any bad habits develop or problems occur. Rather than waiting for painful and often costly problems to occur, you child will also develop a level of comfort with regular check-ups and necessary dental treatments.
Once the first tooth comes through, check-up appointments should be scheduled every six months. Some dentists may request interim check-ups every three months if your child is very young.
How to prepare for your first visit?
It is a good idea to ask your dentist about their general dentistry procedures ahead of your first visit. The fewer surprises there are, the better for you in reassuring your child. You know your child’s behavioral habits better than anyone. Plan a course of action that you can foresee your child either co-operating with or not during the visit.
Talking to your child will help to ease any potential fussiness and encourage them to sit still when required. Build excitement where you can so that your child remains completely comfortable the entire time. It is also a good idea to ensure that you have all records of your child’s medical history on hand too.
What can you expect from your child’s first visit?
During the very first, as well as subsequent visits to your dentist, you can expect the following:
- Sessions which last a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes, depending on care required and the child’s age
- An assessment of your child’s risk of dental problems including decay, crooked teeth, jaw bite, oral tissues and growth development
- Cleaning of your child’s teeth and gums which can include a gentle cleansing and polishing
- A fluoride treatment may be applied as well as any other which may be necessary
- An x-ray
- Brochures, pamphlets and verbal advice on oral healthcare hygiene tips including a demonstration of proper home care cleaning
- Necessary referrals to other dental specialists including a pediatric dentist or orthodontist
How to avoid anxiety during your visit to the dentist?
It’s perfectly normal for children to feel anxious or frightened about dentist visits. How you introduce them to these visits makes all the difference. If they sense fear, they’ll learn fear. If you treat the appointment as a “big deal”, the child will sense that this is not an ordinary event. You can soothe your child by making the experience a fun outing and staying close for their comfort levels. It may be helpful to have your child sit on your lap during the check-up so that he or she physically feels your protective presence.
Before their first check-up you can even prepare them by taking them along to one of your own so that they can get a feel for the environment and watch what happens, as well as become familiar with the smells and the sounds associated with the experience too. Your actions during the process will be reassuring to your child. They will likely follow your lead during their experience.
Your child may resist the dentist’s attempts to look at their teeth, especially at a very young age. This is not uncommon and reassurance goes a long way in changing their behavior. Morning appointments are usually best for your child as this is when they are at their most alert. If they are tired or ill on the day, it is best to schedule another appointment. Short, successive visits will help to build the child’s levels of trust in the dentist and the dental office.
At Avenue Dental Care, we offer you the services of pediatric detail specialists and general dental specialists to ensure that your child’s oral healthcare is always at its very best. We provide exceptional family dental care so you never have to worry about oral hygiene problems. Contact us today to ensure the best advice and care for your family’s oral healthcare needs, as well as get to know our team.