A Fear-Free Visit: Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

child dentalThe Australian Dental Council recommends that kids see a dentist as early as 1 year old. This is to establish good dental habits and to prevent oral health problems in the future. For children ages1-3 years old, however, seeing a dentist maybe a fearful proposition. New faces, loud noises, and strange instruments can upset kids. With careful preparation, however, you can make your child’s first trip to the dentist fun and exciting.

Choosing a Dentist

Most dentists have the training to provide dental care for people of all ages, including children. You can bring your child to your family dentist or to a paediatric dentist. Paediatric dentists specialise in child oral health. The focus on treatment and management of a child’s developing teeth, physical growth and development, and behaviour. You can also bring your child to your trusted Melville dentist, as regular dentists also have trainings in child oral care.

Preparing Your Child

Set the expectation of your children about their first dental visit. Tell them that the dentist will use special tools that may make their teeth healthy and strong. When talking to your child about the visit, avoid using words such as “hurt” or “pain.” Explain why you will be seeing a dentist and share as much information about teeth with your child, so that they’ll understand the importance of keeping teeth healthy and clean. Remind them that you visit a dentist, too, and tell them about your pleasant experience there.

What to Expect

Your kid’s first dental visit is usually short and involves minimal treatments. The dentist may ask you to sit in a dental chair, holding your child during the examination, so that they’ll feel comfortable. Some dentists, on the other hand, may also ask you to wait in the reception area, so that they may build a relationship with your child. During the examination, the dentist may check your child’s existing teeth for any signs of decay. The doctor may also examine your kid’s bite and look for any potential problems on the jaw, gums, and oral tissues.

Some of the topics the dentist may discuss include teething, fluoride needs, good oral hygiene practices, oral habits, proper nutrition, and schedule of dental checkups.

Taking your child to the dentist will help your kid develop good dental habits, build confidence and comfort around their dentist, and have good oral hygiene and dental health.