One of the big milestones in your child’s life is the arrival of their first teeth. Your child’s first tooth is a sign that it’s time to start thinking about the dentist. This is another milestone for both you and your child. The first trip to the dentist can be the time that your child either learns to be OK with the dentist or becomes one of those people that dreads the dentist more than anything. As their parent there are things that you can do to make your child’s first trip to the dentist a pleasant experience.
When is My Child Ready to Visit the Dentist?
When your child is born, they already have 20 partially formed teeth in their jaw. Within the first few years of their life, these teeth begin to come in. Your child’s primary teeth are an important part of them learning basic skills like chewing and talking. Their primary teeth are also just as prone to decay as your permanent teeth. So, when these teeth start coming in it’s time to start thinking about the dentist. The American Dental Association recommends that you should make your child’s first dental appointment within six months of their first tooth coming in and no later than their first birthday.
Start with Preparing Yourself
Your child’s first dental appointment can be a stressful experience for you, especially if this is your first child. To make things easier for you, make sure that you schedule the appointment as soon as possible after that first tooth comes in. It doesn’t have to be right away, give yourself time to get your child ready, but do make sure that the appointment is before their first birthday. This gives you plenty of time to meet with dentists, and find the right one for your child. It also gives you plenty of time to work with your child and get them ready for their appointment. Being well prepared can reduce anxiety and allow you to be calm and composed for your child’s appointment.
Prepare Your Child
Kids are naturally curious about the things in the world around them. This includes their own body. Take advantage of this curiosity by helping them learn about their teeth and how to care for them, before they visit the dentist for the first time. If your child is already comfortable with having their teeth brushed and the teeth in their mouth, the dentist will be easier. It is also helpful to talk to your child about what will happen at the dentist. Even at a young age, they can understand that you are trying to create confidence and give support. Knowing what will happen will help them feel relaxed and less scared of the person looking in their mouth. If you aren’t sure how to approach this conversation, there are lots of great children’s books to help. A few other helpful hints:
- Don’t schedule their appointment during nap time. Select a time that your child is awake and generally in the best attitude. This will make the experience easier for everyone.
- Make sure your child has a small meal before their appointment, followed by brushing their teeth.
- Don’t bribe your child with treats or rewards for going to the dentist. They need to learn that the dentist is a regular part of life, and not a special experience.
If your child is ready for their first dental appointment, HPS Advanced Dental is here to help you and your child have the best possible experience. Our wellness dental practice strives to give each patient, even your child, the most comfortable experience. If you need a great family dentist in the Shelby Twp. area, look no further than HPS Advanced Dental. Call us today at (248) 652-0024 to schedule a dental appointment for you or your child.