More than 40% of children aged two to 11 have cavities in their primary teeth. About 21% of those aged six to 11 have caries in their primary teeth. If left untreated, these problems may cause severe pain, gingivitis, and tooth decay.
Despite their prevalence, dental cavities are highly preventable. It all starts with your kid’s first dental visit, which should take place around their first birthday.
A skilled pediatric dentist will not only examine your children’s teeth but also teach them about the importance of a healthy mouth. Plus, he will have a waiting room filled with toys and other fun objects designed to make your child feel at ease.
Feeling nervous about your child’s first dentist to the dentist? You don’t have to.
Here’s what you can expect and how to prepare your toddler for a fun, fear-free first dental checkup!
When Should Your Child See a Dentist for the First Time?
Children as young as two years old can develop cavities. Considering this risk, it makes sense to take your child to the dentist as soon as possible.
Ideally, do it within six months of the first tooth coming in. That’s usually around age one.
Going to the dentist for the first time can be frightening for the little ones, but there’s nothing to worry about. The dentist will check the overall condition of their teeth and discuss the importance of good oral hygiene.
Prepare in Advance
Depending on your children’s age, there are a couple of things you can do to prepare them for going to the dentist.
First of all, calm down and try not to look nervous in their presence. If you’re anxious about seeing the dentist, your little ones will feel it.
Second, make a list of questions to ask the dentist.
For example, you may want to know how to encourage your child to brush his teeth and eat healthily or how often he should get dental checkups.
Discuss the importance of dental health with your kids. Turn it into a fun experience by looking at photos of people with healthy smiles.
If you’re planning to have your teeth checked anytime soon, consider taking with kids with you. This way, they’ll get a better idea of what to expect.
Obviously, don’t do it when you’re seeing the dentist for a root canal!
Meet the Dentist
A child’s first dental visit is usually short as it only involves a basic checkup.
The dentist will begin with a tour of the office and examine your child’s teeth. He will also teach him basic notions, such as brushing techniques and cavity prevention.
Pediatric dentists know how to talk with children and make them feel at ease. They often use toys, coloring books, and other positive rewards to encourage good oral hygiene.
If you have a baby, he can sit on your lap during his first dental checkup. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about teaching your child how to clean his teeth and keep his gums in peak condition.
Make Your Kid’s First Dental Visit Fun
Your kid’s first dental visit is a great opportunity to learn more about pacifier habits, mouth cleaning, and infant feeding practices.
This experience can also help your child become accustomed to the dentist and develop healthy habits early in life. If he feels comfortable in the dental office, he will be more likely to get regular checkups.
At Westchase Smiles Institute, our goal is to create a fun, educational experience for grownups and children alike. Contact our experienced dentists in Tampa to book an appointment and discuss your needs!