How to prepare your child for the dentist

Regular dentist visits are an important part of general healthcare, and for children it’s no different. In fact, the Australian Dental Association recommends children should first see a dentist when their first tooth erupts or by the age of 12 months.

So how do you prepare your child for the dentist?

The first visit

If you schedule that first visit as recommended, your child will likely be a babe in arms when they have their first visit to a dental practice.

At this age, they are taking their cues from you. So, it’s important you are calm, collected and treat this initial consultation as an everyday event.

As a tip, we recommend you arrive with time to spare and enjoy a little relaxation in the waiting room so the child gets to know their surrounds.

This also helps alleviate any stress you may have about making your appointment on time.

If your child is older

If your child’s first visit to the dentist occurs when they are older, talk with them about what they can expect.

That may mean having a chat about the dentist’s chair and walking them through the process of examining their teeth.

The main aim is to relay the message that dentists are available to help and visiting them is part of a general health routine.

What’s involved?

In many ways this initial visit is about familiarising your child with the process of attending the dentist, and our aim is to make it an enjoyable experience.

We’ll take a look at that first tooth, and also walk through some dental hygiene tips to keep it in tip-top condition.

We’ll assess how the mouth is developing, check for any signs of tooth decay, and answer any questions you may have.

Subsequent visits

As a minimum, children should visit the dentist annually, but it’s also prudent to attend more regularly, like once every six months, so your child remains comfortable within the dental environment.

More regular visits also help prevent the need for any serious work, meaning in the long run your child will take away more positive experiences about their visits to the dentist.

What if my child needs dental work?

As your child grows older they may need more extensive treatment, such as fissure seals for deep molars, or fillings for decay. In this instance, we’ll talk you through the process, outline the options and work with you to ensure your child remains at ease.

Again, our main aim is to ensure children enjoy a comfortable experience during any dental visit in a bid to forge a positive relationship with dental practitioners that will stand them in good stead throughout their life.

Some dental tips

To reduce the need for extensive or remedial work:

  • Schedule regular dental checkups from the age of one or when their first tooth erupts
  • Maintain a stringent tooth cleaning and flossing routine (twice daily for cleaning, once daily for flossing)
  • Discuss the need for fluoride toothpaste with your dental practitioner
  • Avoid excessive sugar or fruit juices in their diet

About Brite Dental

Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.

Offering a full range of dental services, ranging from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.

You can learn more about our dental services, or contact us to book your next appointment.