Your Child’s First Dental Visit: How to Make It Successful7:37:00 AM
Your child’s first experiences can be quite memorable, shaping their attitudes towards certain activities. Thus, your child’s first dental visit can leave a strong impression on your little one, affecting their future beliefs and opinions about oral hygiene and dental profession. Not only do you need to teach your child to take care of their teeth, but you should also make sure that their dental visits, especially the first one, are fun and positive.
Schedule it early on
You should schedule your child’s first dental visit as soon as their first tooth becomes visible or around their first birthday. By taking your child to a dentist at an early age, you’ll help them adopt healthy dental habits and get used to regular visits. During their first dental visit, you can discuss different issues, such as the right brushing techniques, thumb sucking, teething, decay prevention, etc. In addition, an early dental visit can help reveal any possible issues regarding the tooth formation and development of the jaw and palate.
When scheduling the first visit, you should make an appointment earlier in the morning when your little one is still rested and in a good mood. Taking them to a dentist when they’re agitated and sleepy will be a nightmare for all of you.
Start at home
Before the first dental visit, you should take some time to explain what the dentist will do. You can make this fun by role-playing – you can be the dentist and your child the patient, and then switch the roles. You should also help them practice brushing their teeth in order to adopt this healthy habit. Furthermore, there are plenty of videos and books that explain the importance of dental hygiene, which is a great way to engage your child.
Introducing dental hygiene through play and exciting activities can help them form a positive attitude towards dentists, which will make their visits pleasurable. You should also give your child their own corner for dental hygiene in the bathroom. Let them choose their own toothbrush – they’ll be so proud!
As the Australian Dental Association advises, you should also check your child’s teeth for decay at home. After lifting their top and bottom lips, you should check for white patches, an early sign of decay. By catching this early on, you can schedule a dental appointment and prevent decay from spreading.
Choose the right dentist
Although your dentist might be highly professional and patient, they may not have enough experience working with children. When researching your options, you should look for a qualified dentist whose practice is mainly focused on children or the one who at least works with children regularly. You can always ask around and seek recommendations from other moms.
However, there are other factors that you need to consider when choosing a dentist for your child. You should choose a dental office that is near your home instead of taking your child to an office across town. Dental staff matters, too, because they need to create a pleasant and welcoming environment for your child.
Convenient and flexible scheduling is another important factor to consider. For example, a reputable dentist in Sydney has introduced an option of online booking, which is extremely practical for parents who don’t have enough time to stop by the office. Thus, you should consider this aspect, as well, to make your child’s dental visits flexible and convenient.
Mind your attitudesChildren often learn by modeling their parents and adopting their beliefs and attitudes. Therefore, you need to be careful how you behave and what you say when it comes to dental visits. As the Australian Dental Association points out, under no circumstances should you use dentists to threaten them when they don’t behave. They shouldn’t see their dental visits as a punishment but as a normal routine.
Furthermore, you should never express your fear of dentists in front of your child – they will develop their own fear of dentists by observing you. Finally, you should take care of your teeth properly and visit your dentist regularly. After all, you should be a role model to your child, so make sure to model the behaviors that you want them to adopt.
Dental visits should be fun and exciting for your child, so make sure to help them acquire healthy oral hygiene habits and make their first dental visit a positive one.