Taking the trip to the dentist can be scary and quite nerve-wracking, not only for the little one but also for the parents. Parents truly do not know exactly what to expect when the child's first dental appointment comes up; also, how to make the appointment more enjoyable for the child without causing psychological trauma? Unfortunately, there has been a rise of tooth decay in Australian children in the last couple of years. Hence, it is important to schedule an appointment as early as possible and make sure that the child's pearly whites are healthy and beaming. Here are six clever tips which will ensure the first dental appointment goes well.
1. Start early
The best way to teach the children to not be frightened by dental health care professionals is by starting with the appointment super early; some recommend taking the baby to the dentist as early as six months of catching a glimpse of the first tooth. Also, the dentist will not only inspect the child's oral health but also provide parents with important tips and techniques on how to brush correctly. Of course, before planning a visit to the dentist, examine the child at home to get him or her more comfortable with the situation. This way, the child will feel more at ease with someone inspecting their mouth area. A helpful tip (especially when dealing with infants) is to take a clean wet washcloth and wipe the gums after meals. This will also prepare the child for the dentist.
2. Choose a suitable dentist
After deciding on finally taking the child to a health care professional, it is important to find the right dentist to do the job. Of course, finding someone highly reliable, professional and kid-friendly is key to a successful dental appointment. Try consulting with friends and family members or browse the internet for the highest-rated professionals in your area. Australian citizens residing in New South Wales may consult with children's dentist in Central Coast. After picking someone, make sure to inspect the dental clinic and take special note of the atmosphere in the office. Most importantly, make sure that it is clean, child-friendly and welcoming.
3. Know what's in store
To combat stress and the feeling of anxiety before an appointment, make sure to know what to expect when visiting. Above all, a child's first trip to the dentist should be all about figuring out the basics for optimal oral health. During the first appointment, the health care professional will evaluate the child's mouth area, including the teeth, gums and the oral tissues. Next, the dentist will check whether there are any problems which may require further interventions. Furthermore, the dentist will give helpful tips on how to care for the child's dental health at home and provide parents with beneficial advice.
4. Be a good role-model
It is known that children try to imitate the people they look up to. In this case, the parent should set a good example at home and practice good oral hygiene as well. Make sure to always brush the teeth after meals and use a tongue scraper. Also, consider adding mouthwash to the oral care routine and accentuate the importance of always having healthy teeth. When these oral habits are implemented at a very young age, children are more likely to stick to them as they get older.
5. Make it fun
Children are all about fun, so make sure to add heaps of fun and enjoyment when going to the dentist. For example, introduce the child to an electric toothbrush, and tell him or her that it is the crazy brother of the regular plastic toothbrush. When driving to the dentist, play car games to promote communication skills and banish the fear of the appointment. For example, play "I spy" or another exciting child-friendly game. Also, take some electronic gadgets with you to the dentist's office and keep the child occupied while waiting for your turn.
6. Pick the right time
Finally, an excellent fool-proof way to prevent a meltdown and avoid temper tantrums at the dentist is by picking a time in your schedule which works for the child. Remember to get the appointment after a nap or a meal. Otherwise, if the child is sleepy or hungry, it is highly likely that he or she will not be tolerant and patient in the dentist's office. Some children are in a better mood early in the morning, whilst others do better in the afternoon hours. Make sure to consider your child's feelings and work something out.
In summary, a child’s first appointment at the dentist does not have to be a frightening experience. By following these tips, the appointment will be a success.