Make Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist a Success
Most dentists around the world recommend your little one should have their first check up around their second birthday. At that age, the child has all their baby teeth and it’s a great time to start building good habits. That way, they grow up with minimal dental problems.
In truth, a child’s first visit to the dentist is often more intimidating for the parents than it is for the little one! So, have no more fears – we’re here to calm your nerves. We’re going to explain exactly what happens at your child’s first dental appointment.
Then we’ll break down our top tips to make the visit run like a dream. Even if your child is a little older than one, have no worries. When it comes to your child’s first dentist appointment, it’s truly better late than never.
Read on to know what to expect, and follow our tips to make sure you and your little one come out of their first dental appointment with bright smiles.
What Happens at the First Dental Visit?
Usually, the first thing the dentist does is begin a dental record for the child. Then they check the teeth and gums, carefully checking there are no cavities caused by things like baby bottles, fruit juice, or other foods. Any potential damaging habits will be identified and the dentist will give the best advice on how to avoid further damage.
Then, the dentist will advise on how to best care for teeth and gums in the early years – this is often so useful for parents who have questions about dental care, or who are a little unsure. Bringing your child in at an early way to form good habits and prevent dental problems is the best way of ensuring they have a positive dental experience and healthy teeth for life.
How to Make the Visit a Success
Now you know what to expect on the first visit (not too scary, we hope!), here’s the steps you must take to guarantee your child’s first visit is successful.
1. Choose a Family Friendly Dentist
Choosing a family friendly dentist like Whitehorse Dental is the best choice you can make to guarantee your little one’s first visit is successful.
A dentist that specifically cares about the experience of a child in their practice will help put your child at ease, and develop those all-important bonds of trust between dentist and child, which are so crucial to good dental health in their early years.
2. Let Your Child Know What to Expect
There are plenty of children’s books you can buy – or download for free online – that use fun characters to illustrate to your child exactly what goes on at a dental practice. Doing this with an air of nonchalance always helps too, so your children don’t think it’s such a big deal and get frightened.
A good one to start with is the episode where Peppa Pig goes to the dentist.
3. Book Appointments After Rest Time
The best time to bring your child is earlier in the day after a good night’s sleep. Children who are well-rested react better to new experiences rather than children who are feeling tired after a days activities.
4. Don’t Intervene
It can be incredibly distressing if your child starts crying while they are in the dental chair. However, dentists who see children are well trained to deal with this. Allow the dentist to take charge of the situation and allow the child to focus on the dentist’s explanations. If you as a parent tries to intervene, it can often trigger the child to become more distressed as they will be focusing on you and your emotions.
At Whitehorse Dental, our aim is always to give your child a good experience and we would never force children to do things against their will. Quite often even if the child misbehaves on the first visit, they will be much better on subsequent visits as the dental process is no longer as foreign. They remember from the last time that it was ‘nothing too scary’.