One of the main concerns of responsible parents is to employ ways to keep the overall health, including dental health, of their child at its best. If you start to notice that your child’s first tooth is already poking through the gums, then it is time to start thinking about how to keep their dental health in good condition.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children should have their first dental visit after their first tooth appears and no later than a year after to prevent cavity buildup. Milk teeth won’t hang around forever; however, dental visits will ensure that their gums are healthy enough for the arrival of their permanent teeth.
How can I prepare your child for their first dental visit?
It is normal for your child to feel anxious when hearing about dental visits, primarily because they still do not know what happens inside the dental clinic. Here are some helpful tips to minimize their anxiety and prepare them for their first dental appointment.
- Start at home
The best way to prepare your child for their dental visit is to start it at home. Check their teeth routinely so they will get comfortable quickly when someone else does the checking. This is also another way to assess the condition of your child’s tooth and the gums. To make it more fun for your kids, you can even play the dentist.
- Schedule the “best” time
While many parents would bring their child to their dentist in the morning when the child is still alert and fresh, some would prefer the afternoon. The best time for a dental visit is the time when your child is most behaved and comfortable.
- Find the “best” dentist
The best dentist for your child is the one that specializes in pediatric dentistry. Children are very sensitive and need extra care; pediatric dentists are experts in child dental development and know the right strategy for handling children who feel anxious about their first dental visit. They have techniques to make the children feel more relaxed and cooperative.
- Educate them
Educating them on what to expect during their dental visit and how it will help keep their teeth and gums in tip-top condition will help relieve their anxieties. You can even find children’s books and shows about teeth and dental visits to give them an idea of what’s going to happen. Seeing a cartoon character visiting a dental clinic may help encourage and excite them.
- Help them relax
Before going to your dental schedule, make sure that your child is well-fed to avoid tantrums. Consider bringing their favorite stuffed animal or anything that will comfort them; this will make a big difference.