When your child starts growing teeth, you should also start giving attention to their dental health. Normally, this is around 1 to 2 years old.
As parents, our child’s welfare is always our main priority and we will do our best to protect them from any illness or pain. Thus, the proverb “prevention is better than cure” very much applies to your child’s dental health.
For some weird, cosmic reason, children seem to be afraid of the dentist. It is either the thought of having someone touch their teeth, or inject something in their gums, or the general idea of a tooth doctor – going to the dentist for the first time can sometimes present as a challenge to parents.
Below are some useful tips for your child’s first visit to the dentist.
1. Talk to your child about dental health
At a young age, your kids rely on you to determine what is safe and what is not, what is good for them – they observe your actions and hear your words. When you value teeth whitening and promote it to your kids, they will also know its importance and follow it.
2. Look for a good dentist
Dentists have been prepared and practiced to take care of children’s teeth. However, there may be dentists who prefer to deal with adult dental health. It would be helpful to call their clinic before going and inquire if they offer dental care for kids. It would also help to ask feedback from your family and friends.
3. Meet and greet with the dentist
It would help to have your child build a trusting relationship with their dentist. The first visit does not always need to be an immediate oral check up. You can go to your first visit and have your child meet and greet the dentist in a friendly environment so that they trust the dentist.
4. Never give them an idea to be scared
Children accept and understand the things that you tell them. Thus, never give them a reason to be scared of the dentist. Imprint the idea that dentists are friends who can help them.
5. Stay calm yourself
In some cases, it’s the parents who are actually nervous with the check up, which would then reverberate to your child. It is important that you also stay calm yourself. Trust the dentist to take care of your child’s dental health.
6. Prepare your kids
A good mental and physical prep up is important when you take your child to their first dental check up. Mental preparation by ensuring that it is all good and physical preparation by making sure they are well-rested to avoid tantrums.
7. Be a role model
Your child looks up to you in knowing the dos and don’ts of dental health. If you want your kids to look forward to seeing the dentist, then you will have to show them that it is a good practice. You can have your own dental check up while they watch for them to know that there is nothing to be concerned about.
8. Ask your dentist’s advice on home dental care
Ask your dentist for simple and easy tips, aside from regular brushing, on how to effectively keep your kids’ teeth and mouth healthy.
9. Plan a fun activity after the dentist
Don’t forget to reward your child with something that can remind them of their bravery in going to the dentist, and to remind them that getting a dental check up is really not that bad or scary.
Children will normally be calmer after their first visit to the dentist. It is the first time, when they are unaware of what might happen, that they develop fear in going to the dentist. As a parent and adult, it is our duty to make our child feel safe and explain that dentists are friends who can keep our teeth white, bright and healthy.