Baby teeth are very important because they are keeping and preparing the space for the permanent teeth. The decay in baby teeth increases the risk of decay in permanent teeth and other oral problems. That is the reason that dentists recommend that children should see a dentist around their first birthday, for dental check-ups, twice per year if possible. Also, a proper care at home is of crucial importance to ensure a great oral health for your children.
But … for the little ones, the first dental visit can be a bizarre and maybe scary perspective. With a careful preparation, the first trip to the dentist may be fun, despite the new people in their health life, new places with strange and noisy instruments and smells.
Before you go to the dentist, plan a bit this important experience.
Find a suitable dentist – Talk with your own dentist, they could treat your children or recommend a child-friendly dentist. Or have a chat with your friends with children. They may give you some recommendations, too.
Talk to your child about what is going to happen at the dentist. Practice brushing with your child beforehand, even play a bit “the dentist” by counting their teeth or checking if their teeth are correctly brushed.
Make an appointment to visit the clinic with your child. Observe how the staff behave with children and see if you are comfortable with all procedures. Normally, you should be in the examination room too, observing on your child reactions and make sure that the dentist is having a good response to them. Check out for cleanliness, dental instruments should be clean and wrapped in sterile pouches, the apparatus and chair should be clean and the staff should wear protective gloves and masks. Also, patients should wear protective glasses and a bib.
At the time of appointment inform the dentist with your child medical history and a list of any medications they take, as well your regular GP and/or paediatrician’s contact details, in case the dentist needs additional health information.
A good children’s dentist will explain each step of the check-up to your child, show them the instruments and machines will use, and assure your child that he/she can sit on their parents’ lap and stop at any time your child it will make clear that needs a little break.
Sometime using models, the dentist will show your child how to brush with your help. Also, the dentist will talk about having nutritious meals and drinking plenty of water keeps teeth healthy.
The dentist will show your child how the chair works and how to spit properly into spitoon. Then the dentist will put on a mask and gloves to count your child’s teeth. Next, the dentist will polish your child’s teeth with a rotary toothbrush. The dentist will show your child how “the sucking straw” works before she uses it to remove extra toothpaste and saliva. At the end, the dentist may apply fluoride on your child teeth, to protect them from decay. The child should not eat or drink for 30 minutes after a treatment.
Do not hesitate to ask questions and express any concern you have related to your child oral health.
At the end of appointment, if everything went well, the dentist may offer stickers, finger puppets, crayons, key chains or toys. Prizes are a great way to get children to think the dentist’s office is a fun place. If the child gets genuinely upset, then they may not be ready for this first visit and you should try again in a couple of months.
Please feel free to contact us on 02 8021 5285 if you are having any queries in relation to your kids first dental visit.