January 15, 2021
The First Time at the Dentist
Let’s admit it. Our first visit to the dentist was dreadful. Well, not for everyone but a majority. Ironically, the person who is in charge of making our teeth healthy is the same person that gives us a nightmare! But going to the dentist when you could no longer bear the pain of an ailing tooth is not encouraged. Depending on the culture, the first visit to the dentist starts as early as 1-3 years old. In other parts of the world, it starts at 6 or 7 years old. Parents, on the other hand, have the responsibility to educate their children on the importance of oral care.
If you are a first parent and taking your child to the dentist for the first time, there are things that you may want to consider.
Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
To find a pediatric dentist, you can ask close friends or family members for referrals. Also, check with the insurance company or pediatrician about providers within your area. Take time to research and narrow your choices based on locations and clinic hours that would fit best your schedule. Most of the pediatric dental services have websites, it’s also a good idea to check the information through their FAQ’s. You may call them for further information.
Schedule an Appointment
After choosing the right pediatric dental service, it’s time to set an appointment. It is better to call the office so you could choose your schedule. Talking to a real person and getting confirmation about your appointment can feel reassuring. If you can’t book a schedule by phone make an online appointment. But make sure you receive a confirmation email or any reference for the appointment.
Prepare for the Visit
It is necessary to prepare your child for the visit. Make sure both of you are well-rested and not hungry during the appointment. Ready all the information needed especially the insurance coverage. Inform the pediatric dentist about your child’s medications if any including the medical history.
During the Visit
Depending on the child’s age, the first appointment may include a complete examination of the teeth, gums, bite, jaws, and oral tissues to assess growth and development. Often, it includes gentle cleaning such as teeth polishing and removing any tartar, plaque, and stains. It is extremely important that the child is comfortable on the first visit and be at ease with the basic tools like a sickle probe, scaler, dental mirror, saliva ejector, dental drill, and dental syringe. The majority of the patients feel so anxious the moment they see these dental tools. The dentist may show the parent and child proper oral hygiene, including flossing and the use of fluoride.
After the First Visit
There should be a follow-up appointment after the first visit. Ideally, a dental check-up is done every six months. The parent has to talk to the dentist regarding specific appointments. It is also recommended to call the office between regular visits.
Everyone should realize that oral health is an integral part of the general health of any age group, be it children or adults. There is a significant justification for early dental visits. The reason primarily for detection, prevention, and further progression of dental caries. Aside from a balanced diet, effective and appropriate oral habits should be inculcated among children. Moreover, the child’s attitude towards the first visit has a huge impact on future visits.