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Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist: How to Prepare
The dentist’s office is not the most exciting place you will get to take your child, but it is one of the important ones. The recommended age to visit the dentist is within six months of their first tooth. Here are tips for parents taking their child to the dentist for the first time.
Before the first pediatric dental visit
Talking to the child about their teeth
Most children are curious about their body parts, so it's important to talk to them about their teeth. Get involved in learning activities that teach them about their body. Providing your child with their own toothbrush to practice brushing they may be more prone to liking the act. Close to their first dentist visit, talk to them about where they will be going and why.
Making a profile of the child for the dentist
Note down any information about the child the dentist may need. For example, note down medical conditions and habits. Certain habits, such as thumb sucking, are not good for the child’s teeth, so make sure to share habits as such with the dentist. The dentist will be able to make appropriate suggestions on the best ways to cut the bad habits and start new healthy ones for the child.
At the dentist’s office
During the first visit, the focus should be more on an introduction to dental health. The dentist may teach the child how to properly use a toothbrush. With the parents, the dentist may discuss cavity prevention, teething, oral hygiene, etc. Depending on the dentist’s preference, parents may be allowed to accompany the child or wait outside.
The dentist will check the condition of the teeth, gums, jaws, and tissues. They might use a model or the parent’s mouth to explain the process to the child before entering the child’s mouth. Providing an exam will allow for the child to see what will happen on someone/something else, which can make them feel more comfortable with their own visit.
Operating on the teeth
If the teeth need to be cleaned, the dentist will use a rotatory toothbrush to polish the teeth. After the cleaning and polishing, they will use a sucking straw to remove any saliva or paste left in the mouth. Besides cleaning, the dentist will assess the need for fluoride and apply it to the teeth if needed. Many dentists offer a gift to the child to create a good image of the dentist's office in their mind. The stickers, crayons, etc. are a “prize” for a successful visit to the dentist.
Pediatric dentists undergo two additional years of dental training in which they learn the best ways to relate to children. Visiting a pediatric dentist for a child's first visit may be beneficial to the child because they could be more prone to feeling comfortable among someone who is trained in dental child care.
After the visit
After the after, continue the education and development of good dental habits. Work on stopping habits like bottle or thumb sucking and minimize the use of sugary foods. According to the AAPD, parents should help anyone under the age of eight years old, with brushing their teeth. Buy a suitably-sized brush and teach them to use a small amount of paste per brush so they don’t get an overdose of fluoride. If they can’t brush for some reason, then help them rinse their mouth.
Are you considering pediatric dentistry in the Plano area? Get more pediatric dentistry information at https://planodentist.net.
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