The majority of American children do not go to the dentist until they are at least 2 years old or even older in some cases. This is much longer than most dental professionals would recommend. Once those teeth start jutting out of their mouth is when you should thing about taking the little one into their first dentist appointment. A child’s first dental appointment should be made by at least one year old or six months following the first teeth appearing.
Foundation of Strong Dental Hygiene
It doesn’t matter if your toddler’s teeth are filling the brim of their mouth or there is only a couple jutting through. It is never too early to start thinking about maintaining a healthy smile and fostering good dental hygiene. A good pediatric dentist can begin doing just that. Baby teeth aren’t going to be around forever as they’ll start falling away around six or seven years old.
With that being said, it is still important to keep these teeth in shape, those gums are going to be with you for life as well. The spots need proper care before they usher in the new era of grownup teeth.
There are lots of factors that go into keeping those teeth white and healthy. One of the first is to pass on good hygiene tips to your child. One of the first is simple and is part of your daily routine without even thinking, brushing a minimum of twice a day.
Setting up the First Appointment
After you’ve booked your appointment with the pediatric dentist you can start making plans with the kids. Your usual dentist isn’t going to be the main choice anyhow as they’re more adept at handling adults rather than working with young children. A pediatrics dentist has experience and additional training caring for children’s oral health.
He or she knows what to expect if in the event the little one gets out of control. They’re able to deal with the squirming and moving about. A kid’s dentist knows that they’re entering into a strange foreign area and want to take care of that.
What the First Appointment Consists Of
A first checkup is going to be relatively quick and painless. It is more of a time for your child to quickly meet the dentist and get a feel for their teeth. If your child is comfortable with it the first time, the dentist may be allowed to poke and prod around the child’s mouth.
The dentist is most likely going to check around your child’s teeth and take a look at their gums, jawline and bite. After that they may do a routine cleaning and add some fluoride, especially if there are any prominent stains or risk for cavities.
A good dentist will talk about oral-hygiene habits to start developing and allow the parent to ask any questions about teething, friendly foods or anything else having to do with their overall oral health portfolio.
Making the Visit Painless
Many people, adults included make dentist appointments more painful than they ought to be. Remember that toddlers have no idea what dentists are, what they do, if there is going to be pain or any other area of stress. You pass all that onto them. Instead realize that you can make it out to be a fun experience that doesn’t have to involve any pain.
The first dentist appointment can be a fun adventure, going into a room filled with tools and moving chairs that are going to make your smile look great. Let your child enjoy the visit and make their own views, reasoning and assumptions on the whole process.
If for some reason the toddler has developed a kind of fear of this already, you can do a lot to help them alleviate these fears. Do your best to be patient with them and recognize how they may be feeling. Use positive images and words that will explain how dentists build your teeth up for strength and oral protection.
Encourage them to play out scenarios and take out any forms of fear or anxiety by thoughtfully deconstructing that idea and how it is senseless. Kids can read your own fear about the situation, so just make sure to be relaxed, cool and collected.
Their experience will be defined on how the first dentist experience goes. In the hands of a professional they’ll experience minimal discomfort and pain, the results they see will be worth it.
Lauren Talbot is a pediatric dental assistant and is studying to be a dental technician.. She enjoys sharing her ideas and research online.