Your child’s first visit to the dentist can be a daunting one – the screaming, the crying, the pain… and then there’s how your child is going to act to think about as well.
But, just like most health-related exams, a regular check up with the dentist may not be your child’s favourite thing to do, but it is what will keep them healthy. Knowing this, there are still a lot of questions that parents tend to have when bringing their child in for their first appointment.
When should they first come for a visit?
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should come about six months after their teeth first erupt, but before they are one-year-old. The goal is to have a child seen before there are any issues with their teeth. Scheduling your child for an appointment every six months should keep them on a healthy track – unless otherwise advised by your dentist.
Are their teeth being cleaned correctly?
Most parents we have in the office with the children for the first time (especially ones too young to brush their own teeth) ask questions like these. It is important for both you and your child to learn how to properly care for their teeth. As their parent, it is your responsibility to help maintain your child’s oral hygiene until they can be entrusted with the task.
There’s a cavity in a baby tooth. Why bother filling it?
This is a common question from parents. We find it best to mention two points. First, your child can still have their baby teeth up until they are 12 years old and sometimes later. It is important to understand that the longer a cavity is left alone, the more damage it can have on the whole mouth. Second, not getting a baby tooth filled can affect your child’s confidence in school or elsewhere. A tooth that is not filled can easily crack and cause your child physical and emotional pain.
How should I prepare my child for their first visit?
There are many resources to help tell your children about the dentist and assure them that everything will be fine. We find the best way to help prepare your child though is to not worry them. The dentist is a calm, safe environment in the right hands and can be something your child simply does not fear. Talking about the dentist as a doctor who helps to keep your teeth healthy is a lot easier to understand than trying to explain someone who uses drills, sharp instruments, and probing tools to clean your teeth.