Many children do not go to the dentist until they already have a set of teeth. Too often, a child's first dental appointment occurs after he or she has already experienced dental pain.
Ideally, a child will see a dentist for the first time much earlier in life. Here's what you should know do for your child's first appointment.
Avoid Prompting Fear
One of the biggest mistakes adults make is scaring the child about seeing a dentist. It is often better to avoid telling the child about needles, drills, and other procedures. In fact, many children respond better to seeing a dentist when the appointment does not seem like a big deal at all.
Start a Healthy Dental Routine Early in Life
Parents should also understand the impact of dental issues. Children with oral health issues like dental decay may experience a decrease in overall health, self-image, and physical wellness.
In fact, a healthy routine should begin in infancy. Use a clean wet cloth to wipe the gums regularly. Not only does this remove food, but it also helps your child get used to taking care of their dental health. Later, you can use a small soft toothbrush to rub the gums with water.
Bring Your Child In After the First Tooth Pops
One of the best times to bring your child in for a dental appointment is when your child has their first tooth coming in. The first appointment will consist of a visual assessment of the teeth and gums. The dentist can also look for signs of decay that can develop with the use of baby bottles.
Know that Some Anxiety Is Normal
Pediatric dentists know that dental anxiety is common in children, and they know that your child may exhibit signs of attachment. You may ask the dentist if you can sit in the room during the examination and cleaning to ensure your child does not feel afraid. Your enthusiastic presence can also send the message that dental appointments are normal and perhaps even fun.
The Earlier Your Child Sees a Dentist, the Better
When you make early appointments for your child to see the dentist, your child is more likely to have good dental health. Your child is also much less likely to fear the dentist. If you have a child, don't hesitate to set up pediatric dental appointments. Now is a great time to book your child's first appointment.