I FREQUENTLY get asked by parents when they should bring their child in for their first dentist visit. While every child develops at their own pace, the Australian Dental Association recommends children have their first visit when their first tooth appears or at 12 months, whichever comes first.
It’s important to understand that dentistry is not just about looking at teeth, at every visit your dentist will check your child’s gums, lips, the inside of their mouth and airway. Your dentist will also examine your child’s bite and ensure there are no issues with their development.
We don’t expect your baby to jump into the dental chair on their own, they are able to sit in mum or dad’s lap while heir teeth are counted and we check their mouth. Their first visit should be as fun as possible to create a positive experience.
This first visit is also an excellent opportunity to discuss diet and helps form the basis of good oral hygiene through your child’s entire life. You and your children should have regular check and cleans with your dentist every six months. Prevention is always better than the cure.
If you have any concerns or questions don’t be afraid to ask. I have treated many children over the years and understand that first time parents may need a little more information and guidance. Your child’s first dental visit is special, we’re always happy to pose for a photo with them to commemorate the occasion, just ask your dentist first.
It’s important for children to maintain their baby teeth as they help to preserve spacing for their adult teeth.
You can help make your child’s first visit a positive one:
If possible schedule the visit for the morning when children tend to be well rested and co-operative.
Don’t bribe your child or threaten a trip to the dentist as punishment.
Don’t share stories of any bad experiences you’ve had at the dentist with your child.
Stay positive! Keep any anxiety or nervousness you have about the dentist to yourself as this can rub off on your child.
Don’t tell your child to be brave; they don’t need to be brave as they shouldn’t be scared of the dentist. We are here to help.
Try playing dentist at home, swap places with your child and let them be the dentist.
Most dentists and their teams are well trained to put children at ease. Remember, two is too late for your child’s first visit.
For more information or to book your appoitnment, call Sun Dental Group on 5940 4988 or visit sundental.com.au
Dr Jade Sun- Dun Dental Group- Lakeside, Pakenham