Bringing Your Kids to Their First Dentist Visit
Knowing when the best time is to bring your kids to their first Dentist visit can be a difficult decision for parents; you may (as a parent) not want to bring them in if there aren’t any significant issues, or maybe you want to wait until all of their teeth have come in.
In reality, there’s no “perfect time” to bring your children/child to their first Dentist visit, most of the time it’s best just to play it by ear and keep in constant communication with the child to see if they’re in any pain or are feeling uncomfortable.
However, Dr. Brian Stewart from Port Dental Centre in St. Catharines has a few suggestions when it comes to deciding when the best time is to bring your child to their first dentist visit:
“What age is the best?”
“From a practical standpoint, we usually see children from the ages of 2 – 2 ½” Dr. Stewart explains, “at that point they’ve got all of their primary teeth, and they’re usually [mature] enough to cooperate and sit still and have a stranger look at their teeth”
Come in with a parent or sibling
Some children are understandable quite uncomfortable being in a dental setting and having strangers look at their teeth, and to address this issue Dr. Stewart suggests bringing your child in with a parent or sibling (or someone they know and are comfortable with) for their first visit. “[It’s best if] they can observe the parent or the sibling and realize it’s not some big scary thing that’s going to take place. If they cooperate for that first visit we may be able to give them a ride in the chair, or most kids will allow us to a quick exam or polishing of their teeth.”
Depends on the child
Of course, every child is different and therefore will react differently to the Dentist. “We don’t try to stress them out”, as Dr. Stewart explains, most Dentists will do their best to speak calmly and maybe even try to make the child laugh. “If we need to bring them back at a later time when they’re a bit older, we can do that as well.”
Swelling or bumps
We mentioned before that it’s best to play it by ear and look for signs of discomfort or pain from your child, but what would you be looking for exactly? “It’s important for parents to realize if they ever see any swellings, bumps or dark spots in their child’s teeth [or gums] to bring them in for a proper exam at that point.
Bringing your kids to their first Dentist visit can be a scary notion for both the parents and the children, but be sure to let your Dentist know that it’s the child’s first visit so they can try to make the situation as bearable as possible.
Dr. Brian Stewart offers some final thoughts on creating the best possible environment for your child: “We try to create a nice, stress-free environment because you want to get them off on a good footing and start their dental experience in the right way”.