Paediatric Dentistry: Child’s First Encounter

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

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​Wondering if your child needs to visit a paediatric dentist? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions, answered.


Many parents have the misconception that children do not need to visit the dentist since their baby teeth will fall out anyway, but that is not true! Here are some commonly asked questions about children’s dental care, answered.


Why Should I Take My Child to a Dentist?

Your child's first set of teeth, the primary teeth, are extremely important. Strong, healthy primary teeth help your child chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and look good. Also, your child's general health can be affected if diseased and broken primary teeth are not treated early. Primary teeth also hold the spaces for permanent teeth to erupt into good positions. It is important that the first dental visit is pleasant, not anxiety-producing. Going to see the dentist only when child has problems does not allow this.

 

At What Age Should My Child First See a Dentist?

Ideally, it is best to take your child to the dentist when he or she is between six to 12 months of age. This allows the dentist to prevent and anticipate problems rather than treat them. In addition, the dentist will assess your child's caries risk, evaluate adverse habits and customise a programme specific for each child. The Infant Oral Health Clinic at NDCS provides these services within its preventive programme for mothers and their infants.

 

How Should I Prepare My Child for His First Visit?

If you bring your child at age one, your child will gradually learn that a dental visit is not a fear-provoking experience. At an early age, the dentist can acclimatise your child to procedures such as examinations using a mouth mirror, and teeth cleaning. Older children can accompany you when you see your dentist, so that you can be a model for appropriate behaviour. You can also read to your child. There are many children's books on visiting the dentist.


How Often Should My Child See the Dentist?

There is no set rule. It is generally recommended that children visit the dentist every six months. Because children's dental needs differ, your dentist is best able to suggest a schedule of visits for your child.


Taking your child to the dentist regularly can prevent serious disease. Regular dental visits can save time, money and your child's teeth.


Don’t:

• Bribe your child into going to the dentist or use a dental visit as a punishment

• Communicate your own fears to your child

• Let anyone tell your child scary stories about dental visits


Do:

• Be a role model to your child in terms of dental behaviour, diet and oral hygiene

• Accompany your child at least for the first visit instead of relegating this to relatives and caregivers

• Tell the dental staff about your child including any special needs or medical problems when making your first appointment


At our Paediatric Clinics, our dental team does not just care for your children's teeth but also cares that their relationship with dentistry begins on the right foot.




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Paediatric Dentistry: Child’s First Encounter

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