If you thought that dentists are only for adults, I beg you to rethink. Taking your child to a pediatric dentist is as necessary as taking him to the clinic. But the question arises. When do you precisely take the kid to see the dentist? This post provides the answer to the burning question.
Seeking dental advice will help your child’s dental health stay at the best as you care for other needs for your family. You do not need to wait for them to complain about toothache before you know that their mouth needs an examination. Read on to understand the best time you should seek dental care for your child.
Here are the guidelines to follow when seeking dental services for your child.
1. Start as Early as 12 Months
Your first pediatric dentist visit should be 12 months after birth. On average, at this age, your child should have had their first tooth for six months. Although the teeth may not have started decaying, it is necessary to see the dentist for guidelines on how to care for the kid’s dental health.
Your dentist will guide you through various steps and recommendations to help your kid grow healthy teeth. The first treatment, if any, is usually very minimal. It will not take a long time on your first visit. The pediatric dentist will also advise on your next visit and the requirements.
The first visit to your dentist aims at establishing a friendly relationship with them. Your child will gain the confidence to get their dental treatment from the dentist when they are sure that the dentist will not harm them. That makes the first visit brief, lasting about 30-45 minutes.
Some of the things the dentist will involve you in on your first visit include:
- The feeding practices you should adopt for your kid to maintain healthy teeth.
- Ways you should clean your kid’s mouth to enhance their dental health.
- The way bottle feeding can cause baby tooth decay and what you should do to avoid the scenario.
- The process by which your child’s teeth erupt and grow, and any signs of complications that may need a dentist’s attention.
- How using a pacifier can affect the dental alignment of your kid.
- How sucking on fingers can interfere with your kid’s teeth growth.
2. Preparing Your Child for the Visit
If there is any hard task when going to visit a pediatric dentist, it is the preparation of your kid. Younger children are even harder to prepare. The best you can do is to make them comfortable in a way you best know. Ensure that the visit takes place early in the morning when your kid is still alert.
For a kid who has attained preschool age, you can easily communicate with them and let them understand what they can expect. Describe to your kid where you are taking him and what he is going to do. Let him know that you will be with him and that the dentist will want to check his health. Make the whole story fun and appealing to make your kid ready to meet his dentist.
3. Prepare your Kid’s Dentist
Before reporting for dental examinations, you need to talk with the pediatric dentist about the visit. Plan for a date when the dentist can meet your kid for the first time. Explain to them in detail any dental health history your kid may have encountered.
In case your kid requires significant dental operations like crowning or extraction, tell your dentist about it so that they prepare. You may also visit the dentist earlier to check out the pediatric dental crown they have that you may want them to implant on your kid.
4. Prepare Yourself for the Visit
Preparing your kid is different from preparing yourself for a pediatric dental visit. Firstly, you need to understand that the way you react to a dental examination is different from what your kid might feel or interpret it. So, do not try to come in between your kid and the dentist during the visit.
Secondly, you understand your kid better than anybody else. You know how he behaves when in pain, anxiety, and different other moods. When visiting the pediatric dentist, you need the information to help him understand your kid’s gestures when attending to him.
Other Pediatric Dental Visits
Apart from the first dental visit where your dentist creates a connection with your kid, it is vital to go for various dental appointments to check your kid’s dental health development. Your dentist may schedule the recurring visits anywhere between three and six months apart.
During the visit to the dentist, your kid may undergo a dental x-ray. This examination may happen at the age of five. At this point, the dentist will examine the formation of permanent teeth on the kid’s jaws. The scan is vital because it will help the dentist identify any anomalies and rectify it on time.
Why a Pediatric Dentist
You may be wondering why you should take your child to a pediatric dentist instead of your regular dentist. It is necessary to note that pediatric dentists have more skills concerning kid’s dental health as opposed to your ordinary dentist.
After completing a dentists’ course, the pediatric dentist goes for two more years to study kids’ behavior, physical growth, and dental development. These skills help them to handle the needs of your child during a dental examination.
While your regular dentist may do some examinations in dentistry on your kid, you should try to contact a pediatric dentist. The pediatric dentist can handle your kid even in your absence – but do not abscond. Stay around to build your kid’s confidence. The pediatric dentist can also examine kids with special needs better because of their skills in child needs.
Visiting a pediatric dentist is mandatory to ensure that your kid grows well with dental health. In case you have never thought of booking an appointment with a pediatric dentist for your child, you need to do so now. Grab that phonebook and dial your nearest pediatric dentist and arrange for your kid’s dental checkup.