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When Should I Bring My Child to the Dentist?

When Should I Bring My Child to the Dentist?

by | Mar 6, 2016 | Blog

Many Brisbane parents wonder if there is a best time to bring their child to the dental surgery. Waiting until your child is in need of dental treatment is certainly not the best time for their first visit.

They could be upset due to the pain and anything the dentist does is sure to add to their emotional state.

Some parents choose to wait until their child is older but that is not a good idea either – it’s possible they may have heard other children or their parents talk about how they hate going to the dentist and begin to dread it themselves and you want to avoid bad association for the long-term health benefits.

How young can I bring my child in?

It’s important for your child’s long term oral health that their baby teeth are treated just as well as their adult teeth so you should book an appointment with your dentist in Burpengary or Brisbane as soon as their first tooth erupts.

Your child will be too young to remember this by the time they need regular check-ups so it’s important you get them in for their first memorable visit as early as possible and the best time is when they don’t need any treatment.

Twelve to twenty four month olds are not too young to bring to the dentist. This gets them used to the dentist and they can simply explore what happens.

They can sit in the chair and pretend, or let the dentist have a look in their mouth and tap their teeth with their instruments – and they should have most of their baby teeth by the time they are two.

From the age of three to four they’ll be more aware of their environment and a good dentist will show them all the tools they have to look after teeth with and even show them how the rinsing bowl works.

Starting early allows your dentist to earn the trust of your child and become a friend who can help if they’re ever in any dental pain. It also allows your child to learn to be comfortable with being in the chair.

This is an important step in the life of your child and should not be left until a problem arises, or until they are older when any problems are likely to be well advanced.

Choosing a child-friendly dentist

When choosing a dental surgery in Brisbane, opt for one that is child-friendly; you can tell because there will be a toy corner in the waiting room and pictures on the wall that children would like.

It is important baby teeth are monitored regularly because they too can suffer from decay and if not treated can infect adult teeth as they come through. And little children won’t be fans of opening their mouth when they’re in pain, especially if they don’t know the dentist and the dentist is not equipped to entertain young minds whilst checking on their oral health!

If the child is very young and you think they might forget before they need to go again, take a photo of them in the dentist’s chair with your dentist. You can look at the photo together several times and especially just before the next visit.

This will remind them what a good time they had. Then you can book another visit when the dentist advises – perhaps in six months or a year, depending on the development of your child’s teeth, gums and jaw.

Look at Mummy

Some parents like to book Mum and Dad in for check-ups at the same time so their child can watch as they all take turns and this can be an effective method of getting your child to sit in the dentist’s chair as children like to copy their parents.

However, it might not be the best idea if one parent is going alone as a child might be confused or even frightened by seeing a parent in an unfamiliar position with a stranger poking around in their mouth.

You can encourage good oral hygiene from a young age by using a soft toothbrush and a tiny smear of age appropriate toothpaste on budding teeth or even a gum massager so your child gets used to the brushing motion.

Brush your teeth together!

We know children like to copy and help so show your child what to do but maybe also let them brush your teeth too. Preventative dental care for your child will almost always take the pain out of a dental visit.

The dentist can show even a young child how best to clean their teeth but for diligent dental hygiene it’s suggested you still closely supervise until they start hitting double digits.

At Proactive Dental in Burpengary, we recommend bringing your child in when their first baby tooth erupts but understand young children won’t always remember their last visit so are always happy to help you make their “first” trip to us a special visit and positively reinforce good oral health.

To find out how Proactive Dental can help your child enjoy looking after their teeth, or to book an appointment, please contact us today.