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Knowing when to take your Child to the Dentist

Mother Kissing Child

Blog Highlights:

  • A lot of parents have no idea when they should take their children for their first dental checkup
  • During the first visit, the dentist will check for injury, tooth decay, as well as signs of proper growth and development
  • Schedule your child’s first visit when he or she is happy and active
  • Parents should never use the checkup as a form of punishment as it can affect the way the child sees the dentist

A lot of new parents have no idea when to take their baby for their first dental visit. This is why a lot of children end up seeing the dentist only when oral problems arise. This can actually have a negative impact on how your child sees dentists.

Children are supposed to see their dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts, this means that the baby should see the dentist before his or her first birthday. This is because the first tooth can be susceptible to tooth decay and because the dentist needs to see your child to determine if the teeth, mouth, and gums are growing and developing properly. The dentist is also going to check for injuries and other oral problems.

If your child is used to thumb sucking or using the pacifier, you might want to ask the dentist for professional advice before these habits can damage your child’s teeth. It is very important that you schedule your child’s visit when he or she is cooperative, active, and happy. If the child is scheduled to see the dentist during nap time, he or she might get too cranky. To help the parents, some dental clinics will allow them to fill up their child’s paperwork ahead of time.

You might want to consider including your child in your dental insurance plan before the checkup. Your child should also have a light meal before the checkup as giving your child a heavy meal can make the checkup difficult for the dentist because the food debris will go all around your child’s teeth and gums.

Here’s what experts recommend that parents do to help their child:

  • Never let your child know if you are worried about the checkup since they can pick up on your emotions.
  • Keep emphasizing the positive benefits of seeing the dentist.
  • Never use the checkup as a means of punishment, bribery, or reward for your child.
  • Make the checkup a fun activity by telling your child that he or she is going to meet new friends, and ride on the dentist’s special chair.
  • Allow the child to get used to opening his or her mouth and to counting the teeth inside through a make-believe checkup.

Parents can even use videos and animations to let their child feel more comfortable during their first dental checkup. The parents should also know how to trust their child’s dentist, giving the dental care provider some room to befriend and win over your child. You should also let the dentist lead when it comes to talking with your child.

Never wait for an emergency to happen before you let your child see a dentist. Paying attention to the health and condition of your child’s teeth can have a huge impact in the long run.

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It's time to clean those pearly whites!