Nothing is more important than the health of your children. Part of the responsibility as a parent is to ensure proper oral hygiene. While most fear the visit to the dentist, taking your kid to the dental clinic will protect their teeth as well as get them acquainted with regular appointments.
These are professionals who are specially trained to handle dental issues related to children. Pediatric dentists offer dental care for kids from infancy till their teenage years. The professionals receive the same basic training, completing dental school after four years. However, the pediatric dentist goes for an additional two years of training residency, where they specialize in handling children. They are then board-certified to deal with kid’s oral health care.
When Should You Schedule Your Child’s First Visit?
The American Dentist Association recommends the first appointment within six months of the first tooth appearing, and not later than their first birthday. The kids dentist can then inspect the teeth and offer advice on mouth cleaning, teething, pacifiers, and finger-sucking habits. The dentist can also identify any tooth problems early on. Remember, research shows that approximately 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they join kindergarten.
What to Expect While in the Children Dentist’s Office
A typical first visit usually lasts between half an hour to an hour. The appointment may entail a full examination of your child’s teeth, gums, jaws, and oral tissue. The dentist for kids may also inspect their bite and ensure there isn’t an under or overbite.
If your child has dental caries, the doctor may recommend an X-ray exam. However, it is only done when necessary to ensure the damage doesn’t affect the growth of permanent teeth. If needed, the dentist may conduct a gentle cleaning to remove visible plaque. The kids pediatric dentist will then show your kids proper teeth cleaning and other practices to maintain oral health.
Tips for a Successful Visit to the Pediatric Dental Office
1. Prepare Your Child
Choose a time when they are most alert and fresh. If the kids are already in preschool, talk to them, and generally explain what may happen at the dentist clinic. The general idea may help alleviate fear and instill excitement ahead of the visit.
2. Prepare Yourself
At the pediatric dentist’s office, provide your child’s full health history. Discuss your questions and concerns with the doctor. You should understand children may behave differently at the clinic, depending on their age. Researching some first visit videos may guide you on how to conduct yourself.
3. Schedule Your Appointment during ‘Happy’ Hour
Ensure that you book at a time when your child is most active. For younger children, this period may be early morning while slightly kids usually prefer early afternoon. Late appointments may cause exhaustion on your child, affecting their responsiveness.
4. Avoid Food Until After the Appointment
Before heading out, ensure your child eats and brushes their teeth. They will not be hungry during the trip. Whenever possible, avoid giving the child snacks as the food may stick on their teeth before the oral exam.
An early visit to a pediatric dental clinic is essential in maintaining your child’s oral health. Pediatric dentists will inspect your kid’s teeth and offer advice on the best way to take care of them. Remember to stay positive throughout the whole process.