Ever wondered when exactly should you take your child for the first dental visit??
Due to the lack of dental health and hygiene awareness, we as parents do not stress much on dental visits. Until and unless there is pain or discomfort with both ourselves as well as our kids, we try to avoid it as much as possible. Dental fear and anxiety are one of the main reasons for avoiding dental visits.
But this definitely should not be the case. Delaying a dental visit leads to prolonged and invasive treatment, with more discomfort and cost.
Your pediatric dentist might be able to detect any cavity that your child might be having at an age as early as 1 year. This will help in preventing any further cavities. It might be possible to get the cavity filled, in case the child is not cooperative at least the other cavities can be prevented as your dentist will tell you how proper brushing techniques, what food to avoid, and other things related to good oral hygiene. Your dentist might ask you several questions to help conclude the reason for the cavities.
Though oral habits like thumb sucking, lip biting, finger sucking, etc. are regarded as normal till the age of 3 years, the earlier the habit is broken the better it is. Your dentist can help you detect the habit and tell you how to stop the habit, without disturbing the child at such a tender age.
Teething is one of the most important milestones your child will achieve. And at the age of one year, your child either might be having few teeth or will be getting teeth soon. You can ask questions about teething to your dentist.
Tongue ties if not detected early can go undetected for a long time. At the age of 1 year when you visit a dentist your dentist can diagnose a tongue tie if your child is having one. It is nothing to worry about. If there is no problem you can leave it as it is. If there is any kind of problem the child is having about the tongue tie a simple procedure called a frenectomy can help in relieving it.
Your pediatric dentist would check the child’s craniofacial development, i.e. the development of the extraoral structures like the jaws, the cheekbone, the muscles around the face, etc. Any problem that the parents might have missed can be dealt with at an early age. Also, any other problem related to the tooth-bearing region or the gums can be identified.
Morning visits when the child is active the most are the best for the first dental visit and even the subsequent visits. Never take an appointment during the nap time of the child. If you do so, the child will be irritable, anxious, and defiant and would not open his or her mouth, or would not cooperate. So, the best is to take the appointment when the child is most active, like in the mornings when the child is fresh.
Take an Appointment
Always take an appointment with your pedodontist before visiting. This will help in reducing the waiting time. Waiting time is sometimes not very pleasant for the child as it would be the first time the child would be visiting the clinic. So, always take an appointment so that the child is comfortable, and your dentist can start with the examination asap.
Feed before the Visit
Feed your baby well before the visit. Otherwise, also, the rule applies to adults as well. Always eat well before going to the dentist. If the baby is hungry, he or she will again be cranky and not cooperate. Already it is a new environment and experience for the child. So, the child should be the most comfortable.
It is just a dental visit, so stay relaxed. If you are not relaxed and calm and are worried your child will be anxious too. So, stay relaxed as your pedodontist will only be checking your child’s teeth and oral structure and will not do anything until and unless you ask them to. They would be very gentle with your little one. So, there is nothing to worry about.
Yes, your child might cry a bit, but it is completely normal. Start talking to your child a few days in advance of the visit. Tell them that a doctor would ask them to open their mouth so they can check their teeth. The child might not understand everything but understand that it is safe and there is nothing to worry about.
What to expect during the first dental visit?
Your dentist will examine the jaws, teeth, gums, and all the other oral tissues and let you know if anything is wrong.
Your dentist will check for any decay, and advise you of a fluoride application in case required.
Your dentist will inform you if any of the dietary habits of your baby needs to be changed.
Your dentist will advise you regarding the oral habits which your child might be having.
Your dentist will help you understand how to maintain good oral hygiene for your child.
During the dental visit, your child might cry due to fear or stranger anxiety or any of the other reasons. But, this is fine and you just need to console your child and work it out with your dentist.
When should your child’s second visit be?
The second visit of the child should be after 6 months from the first visit, or as directed by your pediatric dentist. Some dentists even ask you to visit after 3 months if there is some concern and your dentist wants to check again. Follow your dentist’s advice and visit when recommended.
A dental visit is as important as a visit to a pediatrician for vaccinations and routine examinations. Dental health is as important as overall health and you should not wait for a problem to there to visit a dentist.