My Family Dentist believes that learning to take care of teeth can and should begin while young. We also know that prevention is the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Have your child see us before a problem has developed.
Going to the dentist doesn’t need to be a difficult or scary procedure for your child. We have compiled a list of common questions parents ask, to help you and your child have a pleasant visit to the dentist, and as a lifetime of good oral health.
When should my child see the dentist for the first time?
Prevention is the best way to ensure excellent dental health. This is why the Australian Dental Association (ADA) suggests children have their first dental visit when they are 12 months old, or shortly after their baby teeth start showing. According to the ADA, “preventive dental visits from an early age lay the foundation for a lifetime of good oral and dental health.” Start the tradition of healthy and clean teeth while your child is young.
Why should my child go to the dentist when they are 1?
At My Family Dentist, we will assess the child’s oral health. We will look at their face and jaw to make sure they are in proper alignment. We examine any showing teeth to make sure they are healthy. We will let the parent(s) know what is the best way to keep their children’s teeth clean through diet, brushing, fluoride, and general health tips.
Baby teeth are important to preserve, even if they eventually will be replaced by adult teeth. Cavities will develop when food that contains sugar remains in the mouth for a long time. Bacteria in the mouth will flourish on the bits of sugar in the mouth and teeth, and will eat away at the tooth’s enamel. Saliva will wash the bacteria and sugar away between meals, but if there is food or sugar in a child’s mouth for extended periods, saliva will not be able to wash them away and decay or cavities will occur, and because of this, it is critical to identify tooth decay early. Tooth decay often starts close to the gum line, in places that cannot seem to be cleaned off.
After a thorough examination of your child’s mouth, My Family Dental will provide ways you can keep your children’s teeth and mouth clean and healthy. Depending on the assessment, we will suggest when the next visit should be.
Preparing for your child’s visit to the dentist
There are a couple of things parents can do to help the child feel comfortable going to the dentist:
- Play ‘dentist’ at home, taking turns cleaning and counting teeth.
- Read stories about going to the dentist
- Make the dental appointment at a time when your child will be rested and fed.
- Let the dentist know of any medical or psychological problems your child may experience. Openly discuss with them any questions or concerns you may have.
- Talk with your child about why it is important to go to the dentist.
- Feel free to bring your child’s favourite toy and story along.
It is important that parents do not assume the child will be scared to go to the dentist. Do not transfer any apprehension you may have about going to the dentist on to them. For example, do not say, “the dentist will not hurt your or use an injection”. This could trigger fears when there should be none. In general, try to speak positively about going to the dentist and do not use negative words, such as drill, need, hurt or pain, when referring to the dentist around your child. This is the first step to helping them thinking positively about going to the dentist and taking care of their teeth.
What should I do when my child’s tooth starts to wiggle?
At around 6 years of age, children’s teeth will begin to wiggle. It is best to let your child wiggle the tooth until it comes loose on its own. Doing so is the least painful and will cause minimal bleeding.