As children, many of us worried about visiting the dentist. Dental anxiety is common even among adults. So it can be hard to decide when you bring your child to the dentist for the first time, too. The timing of that first visit is important, though. While we lose our primary teeth (baby teeth), they do matter. And a dentist will help maintain their health as your child transitions to their adult teeth.
So when should your child see the dentist? Keep reading, and we'll have you smiling about that first visit in no time.
WHY DENTIST VISITS ARE IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN?
Most dentists will work to make the dental experience more comfortable for your child. They use flavoured toothpaste to make cleanings enjoyable (which adults enjoy, too), and they use child-friendly terminology. It's not a dental pick. It's a tooth counter. Most importantly, as your child grows, the dentist will help you maintain the health of your child's primary teeth and gums. Your child's teeth allow them to eat and chew, which is essential as you continue to introduce new foods into their diet. They also aid in your child's speech development. Our teeth help us form different sounds and words, and our children need to practice these sounds at an early age. So keeping your children’s teeth in good shape has many other benefits.
YOUR FIRST DENTIST VISIT
Most dentists agree that your child's first visit to the dentist should occur around 6 months of age after the eruption of the first tooth. Early visits to the dentist normalize the experience. If you wait until your child is two or three years old, it is scary to have a stranger poking around inside their mouth. Starting early also lets the dentist help you monitor all of the teeth-related issues children face—from sucking on a bottle or pacifier to teething to handling any surprise sensitivities.
HOW TO PREPARE
Before you bring your child for a cleaning or consultation, you can start preparing them for this visit at home. Model regular teeth brushing for them and have "play" dental visits with them. Be the dentist and inspect their teeth. Let them be the dentist and examine your teeth, too. If you have a cleaning scheduled, let your child come with you. Allow them to meet the dentist and see what happens in the office. The more you can expose them to the visit, the easier it will be. And as your child's teeth come in, you must instill good habits at home as well. There are dozens of great dental products for children. Start with a good toothbrush and have them use it.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
The first visit to your dentist does not need to be for an emergency. We don't want to "wiggle out" any baby teeth! Instead, schedule a consultation when that first tooth pops out, and we'll make the experience a comfortable one. Need a Prince George practice that is ready to accommodate your child's dental needs? Then call the clinic of Dr. Richard Wilczek to make an appointment today.