Preparing your child for their first dental visit can be a fun and exciting experience for both of you. After all, fear of dentists is not inborn. A child’s reaction toward dental visits may be influenced by people around them. Take time showing your little ones how friendly the dentists and everyone in the dental office are. This would make it easier for them comfortable about dental care.
When to see the dentist for the first time
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that little ones go to the dental office as soon as their first tooth comes in or once they reach age one.
It’s never too late for a first dental visit, though. Even if your child already has several of their teeth grown, you can still bring them to the dental clinic.
Take advantage of this opportunity to discuss oral hygiene habits you can practice from home. You can also raise related concerns such as thumb sucking and its effects to your child’s developing teeth.
What to expect during first dental visits
Expect the dentist to talk to you about your child’s medical history and overall oral health. Feel free to ask anything about teething and bite development. The dental team will also inquire about any oral habits your child has.
The dentist may also examine your child’s mouth. They may also clean your child’s teeth. Your involvement is crucial in encouraging the little ones to cooperate.
It’s important to note, though, that the first visit is about establishing trust and confidence toward the dental team.
If the dentist doesn’t proceed to conducting examinations, don’t worry. They want to make your little one feel comfortable with them first, with your help. This is to make the entire visit memorable. And to make the young patient thrilled about their next dental visits.
Preparing kids for their first meeting with the dentist
If your child is able to speak already, chances are they would have a lot of questions about going to the dentist. You need to be able to respond in a way they would easily understand. You don’t want to inadvertently instill fear in your kids. You’d want them to look forward to their dental appointment.
Here are tips to preparing the little ones for their first meeting with their dentist.
- Keep it positive. Beware of words you use. Also, do not use any negative terms or phrases even when you’re not directly talking to the kids. It’s always possible for them to overhear your conversations with fellow adults.
- Share simple information. You need not describe in detail what happens in the dental office. You can instead tell your little one that their dentist will count their teeth, and perhaps even take photos.
- Make it educational. Do role plays with your little one to mimic dental visits. You may exchange parts with your child, with them playing as the dentist and you as their young patient. Go check out educational videos online that you and your child can watch together.
- Let them choose their outfit. Keep the day fun from the start. Let your child choose what they want to wear to the dental office. They may want to show off their favorite costume. Or perhaps bring with them their favorite toy.
- Share positive stories. If you have any positive experiences to share with your little one about visiting dentists, do share them. Say, you love being able to choose your own toothbrush or go home with some treats from the dental team.
Kids would easily pick up fear and anxiety. Make sure you work out on your own concerns too about seeing dentists.
How often should kids see their dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that kids visit their dentist every six months. However, your child’s dentist would be the best person to ask how often you need to go for a checkup.
If you still have not chosen a clinic offering children’s dentistry, you can contact us at Beacon Smiles Dental. Our dental office is located in Beacon Hill, NW Calgary and we are open from Mondays to Saturdays.
If you have further concerns about preparing your child for their first dental visit, let us know through our contact form. We’d be happy to help you out.