It is a common misconception that since baby teeth are temporary, there is no need to pay much attention. This is false in all aspects; professionals have debunked this dental myth repeatedly so that parents are aware of how important their child’s first dental visit is.
When should a baby have their first dental visit? As soon as the first tooth erupts or no later than his first birthday. It is pretty easy to remember: first dental visit by their first birthday! The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend the first visit this early to create a routine for healthy dental care.
Why visit this early when there are only a pair of teeth that recently erupted? Well, the answer is simple. Dental problems can start even at a very early age. Yes, it can happen, and it’s scary to think about. Aside from the aim to detect and prevent early dental carries, a baby’s first dental visit allows the dentist to discuss infant feeding practices, teething, pacifiers, other oral habits, and tooth decay from bottles. The dentist will also teach you how to take care of their new teeth properly. There is so much to learn about your child’s first dentist appointment.
The next concern would be: How to prepare your child for their first dental visit? We can all expect that the first dental visit will involve so much of the following: crying, kicking, and screaming. Babies and young children can be scared at first. Even adults may still get scared, right? However, if you engage your child during a regular checkup, rapport with the dentist and dental procedures will develop.
To help you prepare your child for the first dental visit, and even on their subsequent visits, here are some tips for you!
1. Choose the Right Schedule
To keep away the tantrums and tears, you need to schedule the first dentist appointment wisely. Set a time when your child is likely in a good mood, such as after a meal or nap. Kids tend not to cooperate when they are sleepy or hungry. It would be best if you choose a time when they are awake and full of energy.
2. Talk To Your Child
You need to prepare your child for what will happen, such as counting their teeth and how to open their mouth wide. Assure your child that it is okay to feel anxious during the first visit and that there is nothing to worry about because you are there with them the entire time.
Informing your child on the day of the visit or the night before is also good because young kids tend to have a wild imagination when told several days ahead, giving them a chance to scare themselves. And it is not good to surprise them on the day itself.
3. Bring Their Comfort Toys
Let your child bring their favorite toy. Seeing a familiar friend around will make them feel safe. Aside from these comfort toys, it would also help to hold their hand throughout the procedure.
4. Read A Book Or Watch A Video On Dental Visits
When you read a book about dental visits or let your child watch a kid-friendly video on what is happening inside a dental clinic, they know what to expect. The book or video aims to make them feel comfortable with the appointment. It would be best if you watched with them to show that there is nothing to be scared about.
5. Introduce The Dentist As A “Friend”
When your child understands that the dentist is a friend, they can rest easy seeing them for the first time. Playing a pretend game that you are the dentist also helps in reinforcing that dentists are good people.
Most importantly, you need to choose a dentist who specialized in children’s care. If you have your own family dentist, it is much better to select a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists are specially trained in dealing with children’s mood swings and children’s specific dental needs. Most pediatric dental clinics have a good ambiance and have many toys for the little ones to feel at ease while inside.
The first dental visit is crucial as it marks the start of a child’s oral healthcare journey. If you are looking for the best pediatric dentists in Durango, CO, look no further than Sunrise Dentistry. We offer holistic dentistry for all ages to ensure a safer approach to oral health. Schedule an appointment with us now.