The first time you hold your child in your arms it is hard to imagine them even getting their first tooth let alone having to prepare for their first dentist visit. Like anything in life however, time marches on and before you know it that sweet one tooth smile will not look as good if you are no longer a baby. As bottle-feeding turns into solid food, it is important to remember that good dental hygiene habits start early. Not only are strong white teeth visually appealing, they are also an indicator of overall health. In between the first tooth sprouting and the inaugural visit from the tooth fairy is an ideal time to get your child into the dentist for the first time.
The quicker you can introduce your child into a good oral hygiene routine the better. By establishing familiarity with a dental office such as Shine Dental Associates you can help ensure that your son or daughter is comfortable with the idea of basic checkups and maintenance. This will help set a precedent that they will hopefully carry on throughout their lives as they face each day with a confident smile. Regular dental checkups are a key factor in making sure that your baby teeth are the only ones you will ever lose in your lifetime.
Before you make your first appointment with any dental professional, you may be wondering what you should expect. Preparing for a dentist visit with your child is very similar to how you get them ready for any new experience. Set a defined course of action to account for any reactions your child may have, good or bad. This can help lower the stress of all involved. Depending on their age, you may also want to explain to your child very clearly before even stepping into the office what they can expect. Build up excitement about the day to help reduce anxiety and make it as fun as possible. Also, don’t forget to bring along any medical records to help establish a medical history for your child.
First visits are generally very short lasting as little as 15 to 30 minutes. This visit usually consists of an examination of the teeth, gums, and other oral tissues to identify any potential problems. This can be followed by a gentle cleaning as needed as well as an initial set of x-rays to keep on file for future comparisons and dental records. The appointment will then end with a brief explanation of how to keep up on dental cleaning at home to ensure that the next visit will be as pleasant as the first.
During the visit make sure to ask any questions you may have as well as address concerns you have about your child’s oral health or cleaning routines. If they are old enough you can also encourage your child to ask questions about their teeth, cleaning, or even some of the instruments that can be seen in and around the office. The more transparent you can be about the dental process the better, and the staff is always glad to provide as much information as necessary to make everyone feel comfortable.
Now more than ever our children are exposed to sugary snacks, sodas, and other factors that can expedite things like plaque and cavities in their teeth. Gum disease and tooth decay can lead to many other issues now and even later in life. Brushing and flossing is a good pace to start but is just one aspect of what is needed for a complete dental care routine. Make your child’s initial appointment with Shine Dental Associates the first of many by contacting us today.