Most of the parents are often unsure about when to take a child to a dentist. So the question is should you wait until all of his teeth have come in, or until there is a real problem? The dentists in India recommend that a child’s first visit should be when the first tooth erupts in the mouth and no later than age one to two.
This first visit accomplishes three things. Firstly it familiarizes your child with the staff and the office environment, thus building trust. Secondly, it introduces him (and you) to the specific language that the office uses. For example, Smile Delhi dental clinic refers to a tooth mirror just as a face mirror to see the teeth, dental scaler as an instrument to give shower to the teeth ” A tooth Shower” gauze as a “tooth pillow,” and the drill/hand piece as a “tooth sweeper” to take away the fear often associated with these items. Third, it allows the dentist to do a quick examination for decay. The dentist will also check your child’s gums, jaw, and bite, keeping an eye for bottle caries or other problems that may affect teeth or speech patterns. The dentist will also probably talk to you about good oral hygiene and allow you to ask any questions you may have.
From the first visit onward, we recommend that children come in every six months. Depending on your dentist and your child’s comfort level you may be asked to hold your child while the dentist takes a look in his mouth or make the child sit on your lap for a checkup. By the time the child is about three years old, he will be having full dental appointments.
The primary teeth are important for many reasons including:
- Helping children chew properly to maintain good nutrition.
- Involvement in speech development.
- Helping save space for permanent teeth.
- Promoting a healthy smile that helps children feel good about the way they look.
The dentist will discuss with you regarding the following:
- Good oral hygiene practices for your child’s teeth and gums and cavity prevention
- Fluoride needs
- Oral habits if any (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking)
- Developmental milestones
- Proper nutrition
- Schedule of dental checkups. Many dentists like to see children every 6 months to build up the child’s comfort and confidence level in visiting the dentist, to monitor the development of the teeth, and promptly treat any developing problems.
Importance of dental visit at the right time
Early dental visits can prevent dental emergencies:
Risks for decay and discoloration begin with a child’s first baby tooth. It is important for a dentist to keep a close watch as infants with dental disease cannot receive typical in-office sedation for treatment.
Exposure builds comfort:
Very young children can sit on the parents lap during the exam which is generally not long or traumatic. Dental clinics in Delhi generally have lots of positive rewards such as toys and stickers. It also allows for a discussion about good oral health habits.
Home dental care is crucial:
The child’s teeth should be brushed as soon as they emerge. It is recommended fluoridated toothpaste after 6 months of age, noting that a rice-sized amount is plenty. Once the child can spit, use a pea-sized amount. Children should not drink sugary beverages or fall asleep with a bottle which can allow cavity-causing bacteria to thrive.
How to Get Child Ready for a Dental Checkup
Unlike the adults with vivid memories of the drill your baby has no reason to be anxious about a trip to the dentist. If you are really worried that your little one will get upset come prepared with distractions (like bubbles and coloring books), favorite comfort toys.
Our main goal for the first visit is to make your child feel comfortable and to gain some level of trust between the dentist and the child. If your child is comfortable with our office, we may even clean his/her teeth and give topical fluoride gels. We will suggest ways to protect your child’s oral health through diet and the use of fluorides. We will start to teach the child and parent how to clean and brush your child’s teeth properly.
By starting dental visits early, you will help your child build a lifetime of good dental habits. In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday.
Further on, a dental check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems.
Parents play an important role in preparing the child for the dental visit. If the parents by themselves are being apprehensive, they may unknowingly instill fear in the child’s mind and resistance for treatment. To prepare the child to be comfortable in the dental surrounding, parents must start preparing the child a couple of days prior to the appointment. At no time, the child is to be made scared of a dentist by telling the child that we will ask the dentist to remove your teeth.
Parents should speak about going to the dental appointments using positive connotation only before and after each visit. They should never talk of the words like drilling, painful, hurt, pain, injection and needle, etc.
The Dental Surgeons are specially trained to be patient friendly and use techniques so that the child feels ‘NO PAIN’ at all. In essence, our ultimate aim is to keep children absolutely comfortable, and to minimize anxiety when they visit the dental office to ensure that the traumatic experience does not create long term fear which may not only drive the child away from the dentist forever, but also will lead them neglecting the oral hygiene and thus opening the oral health gateway to effect the general health of the child.
Tips for a Great Visit
- Do not schedule an appointment during naptime. Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
- Make sure your child has had a light meal and brushes their teeth before their appointment so they won’t be hungry during the visit.
- Save snacks for after the visit so they are not on your child’s teeth during the exam.
- Think of the dental appointment as a happy and fun experience. If your child becomes upset during the visit, work with your dentist to calm your child.
Posted by :- Dr Sonam