Some people say that too much attention is paid to a child’s first dental appointment. It is not true, because the later children’s attitudes towards the dentist may depend on how the child’s first dental visit goes. That is why its course is worth taking care of!
When should I schedule my child’s first dental appointment?
The child’s first visit to the dentist should most often take place between the ages of 2 and 3. A child’s teeth at this age are usually in the best order. However, it is not only about specific procedures but about developing certain habits and associations. They will make the time in the dental chair something usual, and even pleasant for a little patient.
Of course, if any disturbing symptoms might require a dental consultation, you should book an appointment regardless of your child’s age.
Why is it worth taking your child to the dentist regularly?
It is obvious why adults should visit the dentist. But in the case of children, there are many more arguments for not only arranging the child’s first visit but also regular check-ups.
- Taking care of your teeth is an obvious activity. Appropriate prevention and early treatment of children’s possible oral diseases help to prevent further problems or make their removal less troublesome and less stressful.
- The child’s first visit to the dentist and subsequent appointments build in children the belief that regular check-ups are normal, so there is no need to stress about them, because they have their specific purpose, and they do not have to be unpleasant at all.
- Fairly frequent dental visits also allow parents to clarify concerns about their children’s oral health. It is worth remembering that hygiene and treatment look slightly different in the case of little patients, and dental diseases of toddlers and adults are also different.
Familiarizing your child with the dental office as soon as possible can help to avoid problems on an ongoing basis. It will also, and perhaps above all, pay off in the future because the dental office will be well-associated and you will not have to overcome stress every time you want to have your child’s teeth taken care of.
Is it worth booking a preventative dentist appointment for an infant?
It is usually recommended that the child’s first dental appointment takes place between the age of 2 and 3. It is the correct approach, but it is also worth considering a preventive visit early before the child reaches the age of one or before the first teeth emerge. This is not a strict necessity, but such a preventive visit allows in some cases to detect various more or less serious abnormalities. In other words, even if it is not necessary, it can still be beneficial.
How to prepare for the child’s first dental appointment?
A child’s first dental visit is usually not a typical treatment visit, although, of course, the dentist will examine even the condition of the oral cavity of newborns. You do not have to especially prepare for such a visit, but:
- you should take the child’s medical records. It may be useful to complete the diagnostics or write down recommendations;
- it is also worth preparing your documentation and properly preparing for the interview. Some symptoms mentioned during the interview can also be a valuable hint for the dentist.
If the dentist has special expectations about what parents should bring to the child’s first dental visit, such information will certainly appear at the time of registration.
What does the child’s first dental appointment look like?
The child’s first dental visit is often even less preventive and more educational. It makes it even more significant!
- The dentist will perform an oral health check: teeth, gums, frenulum.
- Usually, such a visit will involve instruction in proper hygiene. It is crucial that not only children but also parents participate in it because there are a lot of myths and misconceptions around this topic.
- The dentist also usually discusses the diet, They explain what products are recommended, and which ones should be avoided. This part is also largely intended for parents.
The first visit to the dentist is often a so-called ‘adaptive’ visit. Then, a large part of it is familiarization with some elements of the dental office equipment. There is also a part devoted to an introduction to oral hygiene or dental treatment and the importance of regular visits to the pediatric dentist.
What should I do if my child is afraid to go to the dentist?
● ‘Adaptive’ visit
An ‘adaptive’ visit is a stress-free way to introduce your child to the dentist’s office. During it, at most, a basic review and brief instruction are carried out, but most of all, the child can be accustomed to an otherwise unusual environment.
● Cartoons and toys
Cartoons or audiobooks as well as favorite toys allow the child to focus on something other than the visit itself. However, it is worth making sure that despite the availability of such entertainment, the dentist can safely perform their work. The toys are supposed to calm the children down, and not necessarily put them in joyful play mode.
Stories told by parents can perfectly prepare the child for the first and subsequent dental visits. The idea is to send a clear signal that such visits are necessary, but we greatly benefit from them. You can very generally outline what happens during such visits and why people should take care of their teeth. However, it is worth remembering that these stories should not be too far-fetched. On the one hand, they could pique curiosity too much, and on the other, even alienate the child.
● Visit rewards
Even adults sometimes would like to get a ‘brave patient’ sticker, let alone children! During initial visits, various forms of rewards for calm and polite behavior are often recommended. They should not become the only motivation to visit the dentist, but if they help build healthy hygiene habits, it is worth using them.
How often should you visit the dentist with your child?
Follow-up visits are usually every 3-6 months, up until the child’s preschool age. Later, the frequency of visits usually decreases slightly, but this should be consulted with the dentist.
What should we pay attention to when observing the child’s oral cavity?
Follow-up visits, even very frequent ones, are no substitute for daily mindfulness and regular oral health checks performed by parents.
- It is worth taking a closer look at the teeth. They should be of equal color, meet in every plane, and be properly positioned. Malocclusion and caries foci can often be noticed during daily hygiene.
- Redness, irritation, or other lesions of the gums, palate, ligaments, or tongue. Some of them may be harmless, others require the intervention of a pediatrician, and some should be treated by dentists.
- It is also worth listening to what the child tells us. Not all information will be precise enough for any diagnosis, but excessive biting of the tongue, pain in the mouth, or a sense of discomfort should be consulted with a dentist.
Parents of young children should look for changes in the first place. As long as the condition of the teeth or gums is stable, there is usually no cause for concern. Regular problems or apparent changes may signal the development of diseases or an increase in abnormalities.
Is anesthesia performed for children’s dental procedures?
Generally, anesthesia in both children and adults is treated as a last resort, because it is required only in particularly complicated cases. If possible, treatment is carried out in such a way that it is not necessary, but from the medical point of view, it is possible to carry out complicated procedures on children under general anesthesia. It is a more complicated procedure involving specific risks, which is why such procedures are carried out only in a few dental clinics.
HCentrum – healthy teeth from the child’s first dental visit
If you want your child’s dental and oral health to be under full control and you want to choose a dentist who will take care of your child’s teeth from an early age, book an appointment at the HCentrum. Baby visits, toddler’s first visit, adaptation visits, and above all, great contact with children and high professionalism in the care of the youngest patients – give your child dental care that you have not seen before!