First visit with kids to the dentist

Babies hit new milestones daily, and of course, their dentist visit is another milestone in their lives and must be taken seriously by parents. A child first dentist visit should take place after the first tooth appears. But it shouldn’t be later than his or her first birthday since some kids’ teeth can have cavities. Cavities are permanent damaged areas in the hard surface of the teeth that can develop into tiny opening or holes, so it is pertinent for a parent to be proactive about kids’ first dental visit and health. So as stated by experts at the academy of general dentistry, kids should have their appointment as soon as the first tooth erupts so that the dentist can look at them so that issues like finger sucking habits, infant feeding practices, infant mouth cleaning, baby bottle tooth decay can be addressed as early as possible.

 

     • Preparing for the first visit

You have to get everyone involved in this visit prepared you to need to prepare yourself, the kid or kids and also the dentist. If you need everything to go as planned then you need to prepare everyone beforehand for a smooth visit.

 

     • Preparing yourself

If you have some questions, concerns or doubts, then you need to discuss them with the dentist before the appointment date. Try and be honest with your fears when you are with the dentist but try not to instill the same fears or anxieties into your kid or kids.
A parent needs to stay calm and show support for the kids while in the dental room. So no need being apprehensive because the fact is that kids can pick such feelings up and become anxious too.

 

     • Preparing the kids

It will be better to schedule the visit when kids are still fresh and alert; morning appointments will be a lot better, especially for very young ones. For those that are a little older maybe preschooler it is pertinent to educate them a bit and give them general knowledge about what to expect at the dental center. Ideas like why it is essential to see or visit the dentist, have them practice how to open and close their mouth to get them ready for when the dentist would be checking their teeth, and if they can see a video of a first dental visit too, it will be beneficial for the kids. At least they will have full knowledge of what to expect and be less fearful about the appointment.

 

     • How to prepare the dentist

Since this will be the first dental visit, then the dentist should be provided with the kid or kids complete medical history. Let the dentist know about the kid’s other life experience too; Example are the stubborn? Exhibit fearful or hysterical traits or is a defiant. This information will help the dentist deal uniquely with the kids during the examinations and treatment procedures.

 

Tips on having a smooth first dental visit

     • Give your kids a light meal on the appointment day and brush their teeth after the meal to keep their mouth fresh for the dental examination and also to avoid them being hungry during the duration of the visit.

     • Avoid keeping their appointment during their naptime; pick a time that the kids are always alert and more cooperative for activities. As an earlier state, the morning time is the ideal time for a lot of kids.

     • You can go with some snacks so that the kids can snack on after the examination, don’t let them have it before the exams to avoid it sticking to the kids’ teeth before the tests.

     • Help the kids keep calm during the dental visit by making them see it as a usual fun and happy activity. Work with the dentist to make the kids happy to see the dentist even though the dentist might be a stranger to them.

 

Expectations during the first visit

Expectations of your child’s first visit to the dentist vary according to the age of the child or kids. The first appointment sometimes is short and informal like the kids getting to meet with the dentist and familiarizing with the dentist, but other dentists do go a notch higher by poking around the kid mouth and try to check for decay and also check on the kid’s jaw, bite and gums. Again if the dentist noticed any stain or a high risk of cavities on the teeth, the dentist would clean the child’s teeth. The dentist can also examine the child to be sure that the jaw and teeth are developing just the way it should, and he or she will also check for mouth injuries. When the examination is over, the chances are that the dentist will talk to you about good oral hygiene habits that the child needs to adopt and maintained.

You will be allowed to ask questions of concern, especially issues relating to tooth-friendly foods, thumb-sucking and every other questions or interest that are about the kids’ oral health. It is advisable to go along with a list of questions to avoid forgetting some very vital questions you needed to ask the dentist. Bear in mind that your child can cry a bit during the examination, you don’t need to worry because it’s not an unusual thing but show support to the child since it is a new experience for the child.

 

Topics you need to discuss on the first visit with kids to the dentist

The dentist is always ready to provide the necessary information you need on dental development problems and related issues. So you need to know the topics that will be valuable for the oral health of your kids. You should ask questions about the under listed oral needs of the kids.

     • Teething

     • Proper nutrition for the teeth

     • Developmental milestones

     • Fluoride needs

     • Good oral hygiene practices that will be needed for the kids’ gums lip sucking, early tooth loss, tongue thrusting and prevention of cavity.

     • Schedule of dental checkups

 

How to help your kids overcome fear during their first visit to the dentist

Kids will always be kids because they love to show fear or anxiety over first time activities and going for their first dental checkup isn’t an exception, so you have to be patient with them and let them know you completely understand and recognize their fears. All you need do is to help them overcome those anxieties and fears. You can use the below tips to help them before and during the visit.

     • Use positive language and let them know the essence of visiting the dentist that it gives them healthy, sharp teeth, use simple words that they will understand and motivate them to cooperate with the dentist.

     • Take along with you some comforting toys; this will help keep them relax in the waiting room and on the dentist chair.

     • Promise them a treat after visiting the dentist, of course. This will be very helpful and help the kids to be focused by keeping to her side of the bargain and please fulfill yours too so that it will be helpful again in the next visit.

     • Always be a good cheerleader, congratulate your kids after each process of the visit. This will help motivate them and encourage them to continue cooperating throughout the procedures. Keep on urging them on to finish up every necessary examination.

 

Choosing a dentist for your kids first visit

It is always an excellent choice to choose a dentist that is either a mum or a dad for kids but preferable a dentist that have more experience or is skilful with handling young kids. This should be about someone that has specialized knowledge or training in caring for children’s oral needs, and this is when a pediatric dentist comes in. A pediatric dentist is very different from the regular dentist; a pediatric dentist has at least two extra years of training beyond the standard dental studies, the two extra years enable the dentist to acquire knowledge on the treatment of a child’s developing teeth, management of the developing teeth, physical development and growth, child behaviour and other special needs that need to be provided for the child’s dentistry. So it will be a whole lot of good to chose a pediatric dentist for your kids first visit to the dentist because the pediatric dentist office décor is designed to care for children and help put them at rest when there are in the centre,

 

How often to see the dentist after the first visit

The next visit will depend on the looks of your kids’ teeth, so this is one area that will determine the next appointment with the dentist. Well, some experts are of the views that kids should return to see the dentist at least once every six months provided there are no severe dental issues, so you shouldn’t forget to ask the dentist for the next visit. The dentist is in a better position to tell you the best time interval to have appointments with the dental centre for your kids.

 

How to protect your kids’ teeth at home after the first visit to the dentist

It is always good to build on the right dental care that was given to the kids at the dental center during their first visit; this will help keep their teeth healthy until the next visit and even years to come. It is pertinent to do your part of helping to maintain your kids’ teeth just like any part of the body that needs utmost care. The following can be done for you to help care for your children’s teeth.

     • Clean the child’s gums with an immaculate damp cloth before the teeth start growing

     • You can start brushing the kid’s teeth with a soft small bristled toothbrush, and then gradually introduce a fluoridated pea size special kid’s toothpaste; this is because kids tooth paste has a lower amount of fluoride than the regular toothpaste. The fact is that kids consumes half of the took paste during the brushing session and too much fluoride in a child’s body can leads to dental flourosis { which is the tiny white streaks in the enamel of the kid’s tooth}. The child should spit out the toothpaste during the brushing session.

     • Reduce the incident of tooth decay by not giving the child or kids a bottle of sweetened liquid or milk when about putting the child to bed and making the child take a nap. Again try to limit the duration of time a child has a bottle of liquid like milk or juice in his or her mouth. A child should finish taking the bottle within 4-5 minutes or even less.

     • Don’t be too impatient with brushing your kid’s teeth; help brush their teeth for at least the first six years of the child’s life. Though you can gradually teach the child how to brush, it is better to allow the child to watch you do it and follow your same pattern of cleaning to reduce any dental issues.

     • Most importantly stop offering the kids treats and foods that increase tooth defects. Avoid giving them a lot of fruit leather, sticky or hard sweets and candies, sweetened drinks and sugar. Instead provide foods rich in calcium, fibre and offer fruits too instead of juice.

     • The fibre in food helps to scrape the teeth clean, and calcium filled foods like milk, cheese, yoghurt will help make the teeth strong.

 

Conclusion:

Having a first visit to the dentist with your kids is very important, especially for kids between 8 and 24 months because this period is an excellent time to instill good dental habits into your kids. Your kid’s temporary teeth are a vital part of the body to be cared for as early as possible because they hold the space for the permanent teeth. The fact is that decay in baby teeth also increases the risk of deterioration in the child’s permanent teeth. So remember to schedule the first visit to the dentist when once your child is due for one and you will be doing your child or kids a whole world of good with their oral cavity,

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