Some parents neglect making their child’s first dental appointment until he or she is older, or when most of the adult teeth have appeared. However, you should set an appointment well in advance of that time. That is because the baby teeth or primary teeth are just as important of adult or permanent teeth. The first set of teeth begin forming before a child is born.
The primary teeth, when healthy, allow your child to chew or speak easily. They also hold a space in the jaw for the permanent teeth to erupt. When a baby is born, he or she normally has 20 primary teeth that have formed beneath the gum line. The first two lower or upper teeth start to come in between 6 and 12 months of age.
If the primary teeth are not filled or treated for decay, a higher risk of decay develops in the permanent teeth. Therefore, you need to begin dental checkups early. The following tips can be used to calm your child’s fear of the dentist and prepare him or her for their first visit.
To get ready for the visit, you need to do the following:
Don’t tell your child about his or her dental appointment too far in advance, as doing so can increase his or her dental anxiety. Tell your child, on the morning of the visit, that a tooth doctor will be checking their teeth and showing them how to keep their smile healthy and strong.
If a child sees a favorite character having a positive dental experience, he or she will also feel more motivated about a dental visit. Good books to share with your child include The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist (by Stan and Jan Berenstain) and Elmo Visits the Dentist (by Dalmatian Press).
Playing a dental game can demystify any part of a professional dental exam. One way to do this is simply to play “dentist.” Have your child sit in a chair and pretend you are the dentist. Count your child’s teeth and tell them why they should use a toothbrush. Tell them why oral hygiene is important.
Children tend to get cranky when they are hungry or tired, so make sure the dental visit is planned after your child has eaten or slept.
By using the above suggestions, you can qualm a child’s fears and make a dental visit more positive. Make sure to get your child’s first dental appointment scheduled sooner rather than later. Why not give us a call and schedule an appointment for your child now? Contact Holman Family Dental at 479-646-0706 today. Make sure to “like” us on Facebook.
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