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Tips for Your Child's First Visit to the Dentist

Monday, February 16, 2015

Your child's first visit to a dentist must occur before he or she turns one. Normally, it should be six months after his or her first tooth appears. Bringing your child to a dentist at a young age is the best way to avoid dental issues like tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean the teeth of their child. As soon as teeth erupt, decay will start to occur. Bringing your child to a dental professional early usually results in good oral care habits and helps your child get accustomed to the dental office, decreasing fear and anxiety, which can result in many less stressful or even stress-free visits in the future.

Preparing Your Child for the First Visit

Prior to your child's dental visit, ask the dentist regarding the proper procedures of the first visit, you could avoid unpleasant surprises. Have a course of action when your child becomes either cooperative or non-cooperative. Very young children have the tendency to be fussy. Also, they may refuse to sit still. Talk to him or her regarding what to expect. Make your child understand the upcoming appointment and try to make it sound interesting. Bring his or her medical history.

What to Expect on the First Appointment

Most first appointments are introductory appointments to introduce children to the dentist and the dental practice. Rescheduling may be necessary if the child uncomfortable, non-cooperative, or terrified. In such case,it's very important that you stay calm and patient, and comfort your child. Do not forget that short and successful visits will help build the child's trust in the dental office and the dentist. This is certainly helpful if your child requires dental treatment later on for any oral problems.

The appointment should be early during the day, when the patient feels fresh and alert. For children below three years old, a parent may have to sit in the dental chair and hold him or her during the examination. Or the parent may be asked to sit in the reception area and wait, so the child and the dentist can start building a relationship with one another. The visit often takes 15 to 30 minutes only if the child is cooperative.

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