Your child’s toddlerhood is an important time as it presents many of their firsts, from their first step to their first word. It is also the time most of your child’s baby teeth come in. While it might seem too early to think of regular visits to the dentist, experts recommend that parents make that dental appointment as soon as the first tooth comes in. Make sure they avoid unnecessary problems by making their dental health part of their routine from the onset. And if you need a recommendation, be sure to check out The Dental Place of Taramac for oral care solutions.
Before the Appointment
The health of your child’s baby teeth sets the precedent for their dental and oral health in adulthood. Treat their first dental appointment much like how you would treat yours.
Find the right dentist
Before settling on a dentist, make sure you find one whose practice specializes in children. Much like pediatricians, these dentists know how to handle children who are new to the experience. This is especially important as an unpleasant checkup can lead to anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist’s office.
Talk to your child
Talk to your child about the importance of keeping their teeth healthy and why they need to see the dentist. Use this time to prepare them for what’s going to happen at the appointment, so they won’t be nervous.
During the Appointment
Make sure your child is comfortable throughout the entire visit. Inform yourself of the typical procedure for first-time visits so you can prepare yourself and your child. Additionally, keep your body language relaxed, so they can see there’s nothing to worry about.
Sit with your child
Most dentists who specialize in children’s dental health allow parents to sit with their child during the appointment. This prevents your child from feeling nervous and it gives you a chance to learn more about their baby teeth and what you should be doing to ensure their dental and oral health. If the child has ADHD, he/she would require special attention during dental visits. You can sit with them to make them comfortable as possible.
After the Appointment
Good dental and oral health practices start at home. After your child’s first appointment, make sure you incorporate the dentist’s recommendations into their daily routine. By laying down the foundation for good practices, it will be easier for your child to develop healthy habits.
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Give your child a treat
Reward your child’s behavior at the dentist’s office with a treat, such as a visit to the playground. Another option would be to let them pick out a new toothbrush. This can make their daily tooth brushing routine more fun. Additionally, it helps you keep track of how often you should change their toothbrush.
Talk to the dentist
Before leaving the clinic, talk to the dentist about the next steps. Usually, a first visit is focused on checking your child’s teeth. Use this opportunity to ask the dentist how you can improve your child’s dental and oral health at home, from how they brush their teeth to how often they can have sweets.
As your child enters toddlerhood, they will experience several firsts that set the foundation for their habits in the future. Use this time to teach them the importance of dental and oral health, so they can avoid serious illnesses in their adulthood.