Most people remember their first time going to the dentist and we know that many first-time experiences are not great but we’re here to change that!
Going to the dentist shouldn’t be scary, not the first time or the hundredth time! Our gentle and personal approach at Mingara Dental & Implant Centre to dentistry will ease any worries you have bringing your child to their first appointment.
When should you take your child for their first dentist visit?
Most of the time, it’s best to take your child to see the dentist for the first time when their first tooth becomes visible or when they reach 12 months of age, whichever comes first. While you might think it’s not necessary to book an appointment until your child has a full set of teeth, which usually by the time they turn 3, the earlier the better as we key here is prevention.
If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, or lack thereof, contact us and have a chat with our team about the options.
What to expect at your child’s first dental visit?
Usually, your child’s first visit to the dentist involves the dentist taking their full medical history, and possible discussions about:
- Teething and milestones of development
- Brushing techniques
- Bite (how your children’s teeth come together)
- Habits such as thumb sucking
- The risk of decay and how to prevent it
- Prevention of traumatic injury to your child’s mouth
- Nutritional advice
It’s really important to be positive about these visits and try not use the dentist as a deterrent for bad behaviour such as not brushing teeth.
We here at Mingara Dental will take the best of care with your child and our lovely team will put you and them at ease. We are passionate about making sure your child’s dental visit is as positive and fun as possible and most importantly we want to help establish daily routines for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
How to help at home
You should start caring for your child’s oral health from when they’re a baby and into their toddler years so by the time they reach around 3 years old, it has become a habit and they will know how to keep their teeth healthy. They will require assistance from you until about the age of 7 or 8 and even then, it’s a good idea to supervise them when they’re brushing and flossing their teeth.
Do it together
Tooth brushing is an important part of our daily hygiene routine, and just like other habits, babies and toddlers learn as they become more independent. A great way to introduce little ones to tooth brushing is to do the activity together and even make a song about it. Parents and siblings can brush their teeth together with little ones.
It is important to note, though, that toothbrushes are tools and not toys, and that babies and toddlers should be closely supervised. Little ones can practice the motions of brushing their teeth, but ultimately an adult will need to brush properly.
Make it fun
Fun is the main ingredient to ensure that your kiddies enjoy looking after them! If they’re not having fun, try getting them a fun toothbrush! Get them a ‘Frozen’ toothbrush that plays “Let it Go” while they brush their teeth and watch them smile.
Get creative and make the brushing experience more about them, building their self- confidence, learning a new skill and being disciplined enough to carry out this task effectively on a daily basis. Learning can be fun and rewarding, enjoy it!
Practice Makes Perfect
Let’s face it – babies and toddlers are not always cooperative and there may be lots of other things a little one would rather do. We suggest using a “First this, then that” approach to encourage participation. For example, “First, we’ll brush our teeth, then we’ll play a game.” This way, the tooth brushing routine becomes a positive part of the day, followed by another fun experience!
It may take a bit of time but instilling the habit of looking after your teeth is one us adults didn’t all get taught. So be the change and help your child smile confidently for life!
Worried about the cost?
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) provides basic dental services to children aged between 2 and 17 years. Dental services are capped at $1000 over 2 consecutive calendar years.
The 2-year cap period starts when a child or teenager first gets an eligible dental service.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your child’s appointment at Mingara Dental & Implant Centre today!