As a parent, it seems there is a new decision to be made every day. Here’s another one. When should you start taking your child to a Manotick family dentist? What should you expect? How can you help your child prepare for the experience?
When Should Your Child Have Their Dental Checkup?
The best time to introduce your child to the dentist is before the first tooth appears or the first birthday, whichever happens first. That usually means somewhere between ages six months and a year. Previously dentist recommended the first appointment for the child between ages 1 and 2. Many parents waited until the child was around 4. We now know that the first visit is more preventative in nature. Cavities and tooth decay start as soon as the teeth emerge.
What to expect from your child’s first dental appointment?
The first visit allows a baseline assessment of the child’s oral development. This will include an examination of the jaw, gums, and teeth. We check for any apparent issues, and the hygienist will clean any teeth with a wet cloth or toothbrush.
You can expect to discuss the child’s eating and drinking habits, fluoride, and use of pacifiers or thumb-sucking. X-rays are not generally completed until the first molars appear, but sometimes they are taken to assess the baby teeth and how they will affect the permanent teeth.
The second time!
The next appointment will be in six months, but some dentists suggest three months. This helps the staff keep tabs on the child’s development as well as allows the child to adjust to the experience.
What are the benefits of taking your child to a Manotick family dentist early?
An early start and regular visits can help the child develop an appreciation for the process and ease the fear that is so often associated with a dental visit. Schedule the visit when the child has had a good rest (not nap time). Feed the child a light meal and clean the teeth before you leave home. This should help keep the child from becoming too fussy too soon. Use positive language when talking about the dentist, whether the child is going or someone else. A cheerful tone helps. Plan a pleasant activity following the visit, like a trip to the park, as a reward for good behaviour.
Children have a short attention span. Many dentists provide video entertainment. Also, dental staff are trained to work with young children and will do everything possible to make the visit pleasant for all concerned.
Schedule a dentist appointment for your children.
It is never too early to start your children’s dental care. Our team at Manotick Main Dental has years of experience in Manotick family dentistry and offers empathetic and cautious care for your young patients. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for your children!