Most pediatric dentists recommend that your child go for their first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth comes out and no later than their first birthday. This visit is essential for determining your child's dental needs and oral development.
It's also an opportunity for your child to become acquainted with, trust, and feel at ease around their dentist. The professional might advise you on preventing common dental issues in children during this appointment.
Dental visits can cause anxiety in adults. To kids, the first appointment can be nerve-wracking. It can be worse for children because they don't know what to expect. Fortunately, there are several methods for calming your little one's nerves before their first dental visit. Here are three options for you to consider:
Choose A Good Dentist
Rather than taking your child to a general dentist, it's best to consider a pediatric professional. These experts have taken 2-3 additional years of study, specializing in treating children. They're well-trained in providing oral care for infants, toddlers, adolescents, and kids with special needs.
Pediatric dentists also know how to ensure the best experience for kids in their appointments. Therefore, they'll make your child's visits more fun. They'll provide toys and games and have staff members who love working with kids. If your child enjoys their first dental visit, they'll be more comfortable returning for their next appointments.
Today, the dental industry has advanced in several ways. Sedation, which makes dental treatments painless and stress-free, is a major milestone in this industry. Before your child's appointment, ask if this is available. If your pediatric dentist doesn't offer this service, contact specialists like Nepean Dental Sedation, who can come to their office to perform the sedation procedure.
To find a pediatric dentist, you can search for terms like “dentist near me kiln creek” or “pediatric dentist in new york” on the internet. Doing so should provide a list of dental professionals that you can check out.
Talk About Oral Health
Before your child's first dental appointment, teaching them about oral health is best. Most children enjoy learning in a fun way. So, find interesting approaches to training them about dental health.
Teach them how and why they should brush or floss. Also, help them understand why kissing their pet dog may not be healthy and why too much candy and other sweet treats may not be good for their teeth and gums.
It's also good to mention that regular dental checkups are essential for dentists to evaluate if their teeth and gums are healthy. It helps them assess their flossing and brushing habits as well. Teaching your child these things will make them aware of the importance of oral health. Also, they'll understand why a dental visit is essential.
You can brush and floss with them for effective training. You can also find books and videos with their favorite characters taking care of their teeth and gums or being happy about their dental visit.
Speak Positively About The Dental Appointment
When you tell your child about their first dental visit, you may notice them getting anxious. Speaking positively about their appointment can help them relax. You can tell them that all kids experience anxiety when going for their first dental visit, so what they feel is normal.
Also, remind them how well their favorite cartoon or book characters' dental appointments went and tell them they'll have the same experience. You can allow them to bring a toy or a stuffed animal along. They'll feel safe, secure, and comfortable.
At the dentist's office, praise them for being brave enough to come for their first visit. Don't consider bribing your child at any moment. This might only teach them they can only have a good experience somewhere with bribery, sending them the wrong message.
It's normal for kids to cry or not be compliant, no matter how well you prepare them for their first dental visit. Fortunately, pediatric dentists always encounter such situations, so they know how to handle them when they arise. Don't worry too much about it. Instead, find ways to help your child calm down.
After the appointment:
- Talk to your child about it.
- Avoid focusing on things that went wrong and applaud them for taking the first courageous step.
- Mention what you noticed was great about the visit and talk about overcoming the things that didn't go well.
Reviewing everything in a positive light can make the next appointment much easier for your kid.
Your child's first dental appointment is essential. The dentist can examine their oral development and establish their needs. Also, it'll be a good time for you to learn how to prevent common dental problems in children. The first visit is important for your child because they'll familiarize themselves, develop trust, and become comfortable with their dentist.
Usually, children have a challenging experience at the dentist's office. Therefore, it's best to prepare them for their appointment adequately. You can ensure your child has the best first dental visit by choosing a good pediatric dentist, talking to them about oral health, and speaking positively about their dental appointment.