• Dr Sonal Naran

All about your child’s Dental consultation


When should I take my child to the Dentist?

This is a common question that most parents ask. Should it be when your child gets their first tooth? Or do you wait until they get all their teeth?

According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, your child’s first scheduled dental visit should occur within six months of the first tooth erupting, but no later than the child's first birthday.


But why should they go so early?

The first appointment focuses on familiarizing the child with the dental environment, and allowing your child to meet the Dentist. Usually, this wouldn’t be a proper consultation, and the Dentist will just glance in your child’s mouth to make sure there are no major problems and that the teeth are erupting correctly. Having the first appointment early also prevents a child from having a “fear” of the Dentist.



…And after the first appointment?

It is advisable to take your child to the Dentist every 6 months (unless the Dentist has

asked to see them sooner). It is crucial to bring your child to the Dentist for simple check-ups, rather than only when they are in pain.

At age 3, a full exam will be done. If your child is managing with the exam, a full polishing will also be done, and in most cases, fluoride treatment will be performed to prevent cavities. Your child will learn how to brush their teeth and the importance of it. The parents will also be given techniques to help brush their child’s teeth and introduce flossing.



Useful tips

· Talk to your child before bringing them in, explaining that it is not a painful procedure. Many animated videos show kids the process, and may help the child to be prepared.

· It is advisable not to tell the child that they are going elsewhere, and then bring them to the Dentist. The child will feel deceived and this will hamper their experience.

· It is normal for a child to cry, and it is important to allow the Dentist to try handle the situation, with the help of the parent.

· If the child behaved well during the appointment, it is a good idea to reinforce this behavior and reward them so that in future visits they know that if they behave well they will get a reward. If the opposite happens, do not scold them.

· And the most important tip is: Do not make the child scared of the Dentist – do not make threats. If the child misbehaves don't tell them that the Dentist will “pull their teeth out” or “give them a big injection”. This may sound strange, but unfortunately, it impacts the child’s thoughts on going to the Dentist. Dentists are not monsters, and a child needs to know that from the very beginning.


I hope that these tips have been useful. We, at Waterfall Dental & Prosthodontic Studio, would like your child to receive the best experience. If you would like to know any more information, or to book an appointment, contact us at 011-304 6865/4.


Images:

Permission has been granted to use photos of children


Sources:

American Dental Association

American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry

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