Preparing for Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
Are you wondering when it would be the right time to take your child to the dentist’s? Is it when their first tooth emerges, or when they celebrate their first birthday? Below are several tips that you can use to help make your child’s first dental experience a success.
When the First Tooth Emerges
The best time to visit the dentist is when your child’s tooth first emerges, and this is because a baby’s tooth is very susceptible to decay at that age. Dental visits from a young age will help the teeth stay healthy up until the point they are ready to come out and be replaced with permanent teeth.
Most parents are not aware of the fact that your baby’s teeth should be brushed as soon as they emerge. This is a practice that should be encouraged. There are various soft bristled toothbrushes that are safe for use on babies.
Lessons on Teeth
Thankfully, children at a young age love to explore and learn about new things. This would be a great time to introduce them to their teeth and teach them of their importance. During this time, you can also teach your little one about how to clean and care for their teeth. Once your child is comfortable with his/her mouth then their first visit will be easy.
In order for your child to want to learn more about their teeth, you need to make brushing their teeth a group activity. They will have fun if they get to do it with ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ and their older siblings. It is important for you to understand that in as much as toddlers may mimic the motions you make, ultimately, you will still need to brush their teeth for them, to ensure that it is done right. However, what matters, is that they feel involved. If you find that your child is not open to the idea of brushing their teeth then, you can try to make it a positive aspect of their day by following up the activity with a game. They can then associate brushing their teeth with a fun and positive thing.
Build a Positive Attitude
You would be surprised to know just how perceptive children are. If you make a grimace whenever you mention the dentist’s, then your child will learn to associate going to the dentists with something negative and unpleasant. Find ways to teach your child about what goes on at the dentist, why it is important to schedule regular check-ups and even go for dental tours. These tours will help your child get accustomed to hearing about the various sounds that he/she will hear at the dentist’s. Chances are, when your child comes in for his/her appointment, he/she will not be intimidated by the various machine sounds.
Choose a Dental Practice You Trust
Choose a practice that is close to your home that allows for flexible timing, and has a compassionate and child-friendly staff.