Often, parents wait until their kids are older before making an appointment for their first dental visit. Generally, when a child receives his first tooth, it is already an indication that he is ready for a dental exam. However, many of us had to wait until our child turns one year old to setup appointment for his first family dentistry checkup.
One common mistake parents make is waiting for their children to develop dental habits before taking them to a dentist. It is important to remember that children must be able to visit a dentist at an early age, preferably as soon as they have their first tooth, to ensure that the dentist and the parents can help and guide them develop healthy oral habits. At this early stage, the dentist can already identify problems in the oral cavity. The checkup, as a whole, can prevent dental issues as they age.
Nurture their curiosity all the time.
Children are always curious about new things in their surroundings and in their bodies. Start by educating them about their mouth and teeth, while talking about what they can do with it. Simply asking them to identify these parts in their bodies is a good start for very young child. Also, let them understand the differences between the bad and healthy dental habits.
How to prepare for your child’s first dental visit?
Some parents take their kids to the same dentist they visit. While this is fine, just remember that there are dentists who specialize in pediatric dental care.
Parents should go with family dentistry clinics for pediatric care when planning their child’s dental exam. Taking them to your own dentist may be convenient for you, but not the best option for your child. Pediatric dentists can make your child’s first visit, if not memorable, the most pleasant. These dental professionals are experts on providing comfort and fun experience for kids and will eventually develop a positive relationship towards his dentist.
Help them prepare themselves.
There are a lot of educational books and TV shows where kids can learn more about their bodies. Prior to their scheduled appointment, have them watch helpful kids’ shows featuring dental health care or visit YouTube online. You can also read them a picture book about smile or oral care.
Teach them basic oral hygiene.
Your home is the first place where your children learn about good oral hygiene. As parents, promote a positive attitude towards taking care of their teeth and teach them the importance of keeping both teeth and gums healthy. While many parents fear their dental visits, make sure to keep this to yourselves and not show them to your children.
Make it a comfortable experience.
Since it is your child’s first dental exam, plan a pleasing trip for him. A little special effort like getting him a toy as a token will do him good. You can also take him to the ice cream shop after the visit as a reward.
Allow him to take some reinforcements with him.
Children will feel more comfortable when they are with their best buddies. Allow your child to choose a buddy whether a friend or his favorite toy to act as reinforcement.
As parents, you play a vital role in this important appointment. Make sure to have a plan and choose a pediatric dentist from family dentistry professionals. Your child’s first dental exam will determine his attitude towards oral hygiene.