Preparing Your Child For a Visit to the Dentist

The mere thought of sending their child to the children’s dentist fills them with fear for many parents. There’s no denying that the first look inside the dentist’s office can be really scary for kids. But, as with so many aspects of our lives, when we are young, good dental hygiene starts, and many dentists say the sooner the better. Do you want to Learn More

When do I take my child for the first time to see the dentist?

According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), within 6 months of the first tooth breaking through or by their first birthday, babies should be examined by a dentist. For some parents, that may sound very young, but the CDA stresses the importance of prevention or the detection of any minor issues before they have time to turn into major ones. When all of the baby teeth are in, the CDA suggests, a child can certainly see a child dentist by the age of 2 or 3, with daily check-ups after 6 month intervals.

At such a young age, why is it so significant?

A children’s dentist can detect possible problems even in very young children to prevent trouble later. He or she will see, for instance, that the teeth do not come in correctly, which may suggest the likelihood of potential orthodontic work. If a young child is already developing small cavities, it may be that there are dietary issues that need to be addressed or that the cleaning process needs improvement. And, of course, before they get worse and need more extensive care, minor cavities may be fixed.

How can I prevent the development of “dental phobia” in my child?

In order to promote long-term dental hygiene in your children, this is a very important consideration. Many adults fear going to the dentist more than speaking publicly! Try not to express your worries to your children if you are one of them. Children have a radar that is very sensitive and can smell fear a mile away. If they see you associating anxiety and apprehension with a trip to the dentist, they will grow up doing the same.

Try to clarify the relevance of the dentist for children, emphasising the beneficial benefits of prevention and care, as well as the importance of a big smile. It is not possible to underestimate the winning combination of good oral health and high self-esteem.

How do I choose a dentist that’s right for my child?

The relationship your child establishes with his or her dentist will create the basis for future attitudes and behaviours. Keep in mind that the dentist you see may or may not be an acceptable option for your children.

Just inquire around. Get any guidelines from relatives, friends and neighbours. Visit a few dentists yourself, if possible, and explore their dental services for kids with them.

To prepare them for that important first visit, talk to your kids. Don’t just spring it down on them, but don’t make a deal too high. Gauge their response, listen to their concerns and comfort them by responding calmly to their questions. Many parents reward the children’s dentist with a special gift, such as a new toy, which may make a child associate a good outcome with the dentist.