As a parent, you see that your child’s first tooth is slowly erupting out of the gum, and your first thought is likely to be when to take kids to the dentist.
New parents will naturally ask that question, and it proves that you care for your child’s tooth development. Plus, your first child’s tooth should always be celebrated!
So, let’s get right into it, and uncover the answer you’re looking for about when to take kids to the dentist.
When Should My Child’s First Appointment Be?
Experts state that taking kids to the dentist should be within the first 6 months of their first tooth erupting from the gum. This is likely to happen when your child reaches 2 years of age. Baby tooth development is considered the foundation for adult tooth development growing healthily, and the dentist will want to make sure that there are no anomalies, such as any cavities or dental plaque.
What Will Happen At My Child’s First Appointment?
The focus for the dentist is to first make sure that your child is happy and comfortable when they visit the practice for their first appointment. A new environment can be an anxious prospect for the child and yourself as a parent.
Then, the dentist will want to learn more about your child’s habits, such as sipping from a bottle, thumb sucking, snacking, and how their teeth are cleaned every day.
A professional clean will be considered but may not be necessary, unless the dentist sees signs of dental plaque, because this is a sign of growing bacteria, and eventually, dental cavities can form in neighbouring teeth as they get older.
This is the opportune time as a parent to ask any oral health-related questions as well.
How Do I Prepare My Child For Their First Visit?
It is natural as a parent to feel nervous about when to take kids to the dentist, and when the day actually arrives. Although, if you show signs of anxiety and nervousness, then this will reflect on your child as well. Therefore, it is recommended that you prepare yourself to remain calm and relaxed before your visit, knowing that your child will be in safe hands with a professional dentist.
To prepare your child, it is recommended that you tell them in advance that they’ll be visiting the dentist. It is understandably difficult to prepare them for this, but here are some tips to try:
- Get your child to practice opening and closing their mouth so you can play dentist and look at their teeth
- Purchase some playful dental equipment and play the role of the dentist at home
- Explain your kids why visiting a dentist or looking after their oral health is important
- Teach them proper brushing and dental techniques, and explain why it is important
A key recommendation is to schedule an appointment around your child. For example, if you bring your child to the dentist in the middle of nap time or when they’re feeling groggy, their anxiety levels will rise, and it will become difficult to keep them calm before your appointment.
Ask The Dentist
Whether you want to learn more about when to take kids to the dentist, or you want to address concerns about your child’s tooth development, whether it be at your child’s first visit or before it, don’t forget to call the dentist to voice any concerns you have. It is very important for you as the parent to be comfortable as well as the child. Ease your anxieties as early as possible. If you’re happy, your child will be happy!