As your child’s baby teeth slowly start erupting one by one, it’s time that you start thinking about taking him to his or her first visit to the dentist. Although this has more to do about you, the parent, being informed than your child’s actual dental care, visiting the dentist as early as a child’s first birthday or first tooth, whichever comes first, helps establish an oral care routine that can last a lifetime.
How To Prepare
Of course, you can’t just go to the dentist without really planning for it. Doing so will only end up doing more harm than good, and your child might even end up dreading visits to the dentist if it doesn’t go well. So, what you should do is first make sure that your child has eaten and rested well enough around the time of the appointment. Do prepare a list of questions you want to ask the dentist, as well as a list of your child’s current medications.
It’s not surprising for the first visit for extremely young child to not involve any examination at all. Some dentists may actually just let you and your child look around the place and allow the baby to associate the dentist’s office as something positive to make future visits much easier. However, older children may experience some anxiety over a dental appointment. In such cases, try easing his or her worries by showing him television shows that depict dentists positively to help the child visualize what the actual visit will be like. Reading books about dentists may also help.
What To Expect
The first visit will typically involve a discussion between the parents and dentists on proper gum and tooth care for infants and toddlers. The dentist will also likely teach you about proper pacifier use, and the importance of proper nutrition. Dentists may also tell you how important it is for you to NOT let your child fall asleep while bottlefeeding, especially at night. Other things that the dentist might teach you about during the visit are proper brushing techniques, as well as what toothbrush and toothpaste to use.
At the end of the appointment, your dentist should give you a chance to ask any questions you might have. Do make sure that you take this time to clarify any confusion you might have regarding your child’s oral care.
Do remember that you, the parents, are your child’s first line of defense against oral problems. And, the more informed you are about how to take proper care of your child’s teeth, the better the chances that your child ends up enjoying a healthy and beautiful smile for the rest of his or her life.
Make an appointment today with Hoboken Pediatric Dentistry by calling 201-795-2111 or make an appointment through the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.