How is it already time for your child’s first dental appointment? They grow up so fast! It feels like it was only yesterday that they were flashing their gummy smile, and now they have teeth growing in. When your child is due for a visit with the dentist, here are some ways that you can make the appointment go as smoothly as possible:
Take them from an early age. As soon as the first tooth comes in, it’s time for your child to see a dentist, according to the Canadian Dental Association. The longer you wait to take your child in, the greater risk they have of developing an issue that requires treatment that might be painful. The first tooth usually comes in around six months of age, so be prepared to schedule an appointment when this age approaches.
Give them a meal beforehand. If your baby is hungry or thirsty, they will have a less pleasant time at the dentist. The combination of meeting a stranger in a new location with a growling stomach can be a recipe for disaster. Before the appointment, make sure they’ve had a snack.
Make it fun to care for their teeth. Oral care doesn’t have to be a chore. Even before your child’s first tooth comes in, you can use a wet cloth to clean their gums. Try to make this a fun activity by using a brightly coloured cloth or making silly faces as you clean their mouth. Making dental care into a playful game like this is very helpful because it replaces fear with fun.
Make an appointment in the morning. Your baby will have the most energy early in the morning. If they are tired, they might kick and scream when they arrive at the office. For everyone involved, this situation is not ideal. Book your child’s appointment bright and early so that they are well-rested, recently fed, and have little time to build up anxiety.
Pack a comforting toy. Your child might be anxious about meeting the dentist, which is normal. You can help them out by bringing along one of their favourite toys, like a stuffed animal or cozy blanket. Having a familiar item can alleviate some of your child’s anxiety.
Play relaxing music in the car. On your way to the office, try to get your child in the best mood possible. Play their favourite songs so that they feel uplifted when they arrive.
Read an age-appropriate picture book about dentists with them. When you’re reading your child a bedtime story, select one that’s related to teeth. A book with pictures that show a dentist’s office, toothbrushes, and gleaming white teeth can help your child associate these things with positive experiences. When it’s time for their appointment, they may even be excited about it.
There are many memorable firsts in your child’s life: the first day of school, their first friend, and their first dental appointment. Are you looking for a Winnipeg dentist for kids? Call WestSide Dental Group; we aim to make your child as comfortable as possible, using techniques like breathing exercises and active distractions.