Helping children achieve a positive outlook on oral hygiene and dental care is an important part of keeping their teeth healthy and strong. While many adults struggle with making regular trips to the dentist, it’s essential that children start visiting the dentist early and continue with regular check-ups as they grow. According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first visit to the dentist should happen six months after that first tooth pops up, but no later than their first birthday.
Visiting a dentist while your child is still young not only allows a check for early dental problems, it also gives parents an opportunity to ask any questions they may have about taking care of their child’s developing teeth and gums. A visit to the dentist may also include a discussion about the right oral care products and fluoride needs so that your child is on the right path to good oral health. Scheduling an early visit to a dentist also helps your child see the office as a familiar and safe place so that the stage is set for continuing visits as they get older.
When to visit the dentist, however, is just as important as the parent’s attitude regarding the visit itself. By having an enthusiastic demeanor and making the visit a special and upbeat experience, your child will learn to have a positive view of the dentist and everyone who works there. The dentists are prepared to deal with your child’s dental needs whether it’s a first visit at six months or a Kindergarten check-up. They can help teach a child proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques so that they can be in charge of maintaining their own oral health. They can also help ease the concerns of parents so that a visit to the dentist is a positive and educational experience for everyone.
Remember that a child watches you for cues about how they should feel. If they see that you are worried or anxious about a trip to the dentist, whether for yourself or for them, they will more than likely begin to the feel the same. It’s important to show that a dental visit is a good experience and an opportunity to promote good health and hygiene. Be positive and your child will be able to feel secure at the dentist at well.