As soon as the first baby teeth erupt, i.e. when the baby is around six months old, the first visit to the dentist should be due. Here are some tips to help you prepare your child and yourself for the first appointment.
Early trial visits
The sooner you introduce your child to the dental office, the better. Therefore, you should give the child time to get used to the atmosphere in the practice before their first appointment. Take it with you when you have a check-up yourself or are just expecting a minor procedure. In this way he gets to know the unfamiliar environment and has positive first experiences.
Playful preparation at home
Prepare the dentist visit as a game. Let the child look you in the mouth, count the teeth. Picture books on the topic are also suitable for getting in the mood. Tell the child how the visit will go, even if they do not understand everything. In any case, avoid expressions such as “It does not hurt”, because children immediately notice that it can hurt.
Allow enough time and come a little early. Small children in particular want enough time to discover everything. Accompany your child to the treatment room. There they can familiarize themselves with the dentist and his instruments. The first appointment usually only involves an examination, assessing the development of the child’s teeth and oral health. If your child refuses to open their mouths, talk to them calmly. Impatience or criticism is not appropriate, after all, the child should leave the practice with a positive feeling – then the examination will work better next time.
Your dentist will try everything to make the child as comfortable as possible in order to build a basis of trust. He depends on your help. Let your child answer questions and hold back especially if you are restless or anxious yourself.
What do I do if my child has a toothache?
Then take your child to the dentist immediately. If the child is used to dental examinations from an early age, they will not look forward to treatment with horror. For this reason alone, it is important that the first contact with the dentist does not only take place when pain treatment is required.
Prepare your child for treatment. Explain the process to him without going into the details. Avoid stirring up fears and making false promises like “The drill only tickles”.
But it’s better not to let it get that far in the first place. Make use of the dental screening examinations. Toothache does not have to be with regular checkups.