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At What Age Should My Child First See a Dentist?
One of the most common questions we get at Vita Dental Spring is when parents need to bring their child for the first dental visit. At Vita Dental Spring, we are a family-oriented dental practice that caters to the needs of the whole family. That is why we would like to give you some important clues as to when to take your child for their first dental visit.
Some parents will want to wait a few years until the child has all their teeth. Others want to bring the kids just a few months after birth. Additionally, others will wait until the child is fully insured, which might delay the first visit.
When Is The Best Time?
The first time to bring a child to a dental office should be when they are six months old. It is usually around the first time when their tooth appears. If that does not happen, the child should see the dentist on their first birthday. Even infants can experience tooth decay. Thus, it is important to start caring for their teeth as soon as they pop out.
Besides that, you should instill good dental hygiene practices in the child when they are still young. Reason being that, when a child has a positive experience with their dentist, they will be more likely to brush and care for their teeth. We at Vita Dental Spring ensure that your child’s first dental experience will be a friendly one and that your child is less likely to skip a dental appointment, which will prevent the development of cavities.
A great way to do this is to acclimatize the child to the dental office when they are between six months and one year. Both parents should attend the child’s dental appointment whenever they can. This way, the child will learn that oral health is a family affair.
How to Prepare For the Dental Appointment
Before you go for the first dental appointment, here are some of the things you should do:
Get the child excited about the dental visit. He or she may be too young to speak. However, the child can still pick up on body language. If you look happy, the child will also be. Ensure that you bring along few toys with you to ensure that the child has something to comfort itself.
Speak with the dentist before the visit to ensure you understand what will happen during the appointment. We at Vita Dental Spring would advise you to call us to get a clear picture of what to expect. This way, you will be more prepared and relaxed during the visit.
What to Expect At the Dental Office
While each dental office has their style of handling children, the first visit is usually quite similar, no matter where you go. Since there are few teeth, the dentist will not be able to do much cleaning. However, he or she will want to examine the child’s mouth to ensure everything is okay.
You will stay with the child during the visit, and you will play an important role. Your familiar face will help the child remain calm. The child might scream or refuse to follow instructions, but that is okay. We at Vita Dental Spring expect that. You will need to work with the dentist to ensure that the child is secure and the appointment is favorable for them.
At the appointment, the dentist will examine the child’s gums, jaws, oral tissue, and teeth. The teeth will then be polished to get rid of plaque along the gums. He or she might then take x-rays to find any cavities that are present but not visible. You will then get a few tips on how to keep the child’s oral health in perfect condition at home.
How Long Does An Appointment Take?
Most child dental appointments will only last 30 minutes. It is because the dental office can be intimidating to children. The shorter the visit, the less time there is for a child to feel scared. It will ensure that the child develops trust and understand that appointments have an ending.
Just like adults, the kids should visit the dentist once or twice a year. However, some parent brings their kids to a dental office; this helps them to establish rapport with the dentist. If a child becomes too fussy during the first visit, that is okay. You can reschedule and try again after two months.
The most important thing to remember is that you must never give up. The oral health of your child will start with attitude and behaviors during your dental visit. At the start, it is you and the dentist that will be the best role models. Always remind the child to brush their teeth and ensure that they do it in the right manner.
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