Facts about a Child’s First Visit to a Pediatric Dentist
As a parent, you would know that a child needs to follow proper dental hygiene practices that may be slightly different from the one you are following. However, like many others, you could be confused about when the child must be taken to his or her first visit to the dentist. You have the option of taking your child whenever you please but the ADA recommends that children should be visiting the dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting or before 12 months at the maximum. When you take your child to a pediatric dentistry clinic the kid’s dentist will provide information about:
- Baby bottle tooth decay.
- Infant feeding practices.
- Mouth cleaning.
- Figure sucking habits.
- Pacifier habits.
The visit will be valuable because you could receive information that you had never heard about earlier.
Preparing Your Child for the First Dental Visit
Young children are fresh and alert in the morning and therefore if possible schedule an appointment with the dentist during morning hours.
If your child is a preschooler prepare him or her for the visit by giving a general idea of what to expect. Try to explain why it is essential to go to the kids’ dentist attempting to build excitement and understanding within the child.
Preparing Yourself for the Child’s Dental Visit
During the child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist make a list of questions and concerns you want to discuss with the professional. Try to understand that your child’s feelings towards the dentist’s visit will be different from yours. The child will be uncooperative but will not have the same dental anxieties as you do. Therefore you need to provide moral support by remaining calm in the dental exam room. Children can become anxious themselves by picking up the anxieties of their parents.
Preparing the Dentist
Dentists are capable of treating children because have received additional education in the field of children’s dentistry. However, it will help if you give the dentist your child’s entire health history. If it is a visit for restoration like having a filling in a cavity keep the dentist informed whether your child tends to be stubborn, anxious, defiant or fearful in certain situations.
Watch out for the reactions of the child because you as a parent will be able to guess how your child may respond and tell the dentist about it. Your child’s age will exhibit certain behaviors that are typical to the age. Some children are securely attached to their parents and become upset when taken for a dental exam. By three years old the child may not like being apart from the parent during dental procedures like having cavities filled. It will only be after four years that the child will be able to sit in another room away from parents for exams and treatments.
The First Visit to the Pediatric Dentist
The first visit of the child to the pediatric dentist will be to make him or her comfortable with the dentist beginning from the age of 12 months. The visit often lasts for 30 to 45 minutes when the dentist will be conducting a full exam of the teeth, gums, jaws, bite, checking for growth and development. Your child may also receive a gentle cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar that may have built up. You along with your child will receive instructions on proper home cleaning with floss and advice on the need of the child for fluoride. Dental x-rays are generally not taken because the baby teeth fall out but may be needed if the dentist feels decay needs to be diagnosed or to see if the root of an impacted tooth could be affecting the permanent teeth.
Complete Dental Leland recommends that children should be visiting the dentist every six months but may schedule the appointments every three months if needed. The visits can help to build confidence and comfort in the child besides helping you and the dentist to keep an eye on any development program.
Protecting Your Child’s Teeth at Home
The kids’ dentist in Leland, NC, will provide certain tips to protect the child’s teeth from home starting from before the first teeth erupt and supervising your child to brush his or her teeth until the age of seven or eight. Getting the child to watch while you brush to follow the same brushing pattern for reducing any missed spots will also be recommended along with instructions to limit foods and treats that can increase tooth decay which is often sugary foods and beverages.
It can be challenging accompanying your child to a visit to the pediatric dentist. However, if you are prepared to overcome the challenge, you will follow the steps mentioned above to give your child the oral health he or she needs.