As a parent, it’s important to make sure that your children are healthy. It’s likely that you have appointments with your child’s doctor regularly, to make sure that they are growing correctly and that they are healthy. However, too many parents overlook or forget about ensuring their children get to the dentist early in their childhood. In general, your child should see a dentist for the first time around age 1. Make sure you understand what to expect when you get there, and how to prepare your child for the experience.
Why Go So Early?
One of the big questions many parents have is why they should take their child to the dentist for the first time at such a young age. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest is simply because children get cavities and require more dental work earlier in life. One in four children have at least one cavity by the time they are four years old, and many are dealing with dental problems such as cavities as early as two. Resolving these problems early on means they are much less likely to need extensive dental treatments as they grow older.
So it’s important to make dental health part of the family’s regular routine as early as possible. Whether the child has one tooth or five, getting them to the dentist by age one ensures that their dental health is on your mind, and allows the dentist to see whether there are any problems coming up. Children get free NHS dentistry and nowadays you can easily search for a local NHS dentist online.
What Will We Learn?
There are several things that you’ll learn when you take your child to the dentist for the first time. One of the big things that will be discussed is how to properly care for your child’s mouth. Cleaning and caring for a toddler or infant’s mouth is in many ways more difficult than caring for your own. In addition to this, you will learn how to deal with habits such as thumb sucking. Proper use of fluoride and how to prevent damage to the teeth will also be discussed at this first appointment.
At this first appointment, your dentist will likely discuss the best options for when to come back. You can also reference the parents’ guide to kids’ dentistry for scheduling regular checkups. Ensuring your child has regular dental checkups will help keep them on track with healthy teeth, gums, and mouth.
How do We Prepare?
As you’re getting ready for this first appointment, you should get together any questions that you have. If you have concerns about future dental problems, make sure that you bring these up at this appointment, as your concerns can go on their record, making it easier to address them in the future. If you have questions about different stages of tooth development, make sure to ask them. The dentist is ready to answer your questions and help you feel more at ease with your child’s dental development.
What Can We Expect?
When you first walk into the dentist’s practice with your child, you probably don’t know what to expect. Luckily, this is an easy appointment. You’ll be asked questions about your child’s history, development, and any medical problems they may experience. You will be allowed to ask any questions you have, as well. Your dentist will do an exam on the child, and they will show you how to properly clean your child’s teeth. If your child has teeth, your dentist or the dental hygienist may offer to do a cleaning.
How do We Find the Right Dentist for Us?
As you’re considering taking your child to the dentist for the first time, you’re going to wonder how to find the right dentist. A dentist that specializes in working with children is the best option. This will ensure that they understand the unique needs that you have, and how to deal with children. If you don’t feel comfortable at the practice you select, keep looking for someone with whom you feel comfortable. The same goes for if your child doesn’t get on well with the dentist – the very best thing you can do for their dental health is to find them a dentist that they like and form a relationship with. This way they will be much more to keep going as the years pass.
There are so many appointments and considerations you have to keep in mind as a parent. Make sure that you don’t ignore your child’s dental health, as the implications for their overall health are substantial. Get them into good habits early and you’re far more likely to have an easy time of it as they grow up.
written by Amanda Brown