Unfortunately, most children don’t see the dentist for the first time until well after they’re two years old. Many kids dentists experience doesn’t happen until far later.
The American Dental Association recommends that your children should first visit the dentist office when their first tooth forms and begins to poke through the gums.
The impacts of starting your children on a path to proper oral health are staggering and can lead to a lifetime of good habits that impact more than just their teeth.
The Importance of Children’s Dentistry
Many people underestimate the importance of baby teeth since they think they’re just temporary and will be replaced by their children’s permanent teeth. While it’s true that baby teeth are eventually going to fall out naturally and be replaced by permanent adult teeth, the importance and care of them isn’t a temporary thing.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) stresses on the importance in proper care of our children’s primary (baby teeth) until they fall out naturally because they serve an extremely important role in the health of our permanent teeth including:
- Helping our children chew, digest and properly maintain good nutrition.
- Aiding in proper speech development
- Creates a good foundation for children’s permanent teeth
- Builds confidence in your child when they feel good about their smile
How can you ease your child’s anxiety about the dentist
When you begin taking your child to the dentist when they’re young and their first tooth is erupting, they’ll quickly get used to seeing the dentist and will probably be too young to become anxious. As you wait longer and longer to take your child to the dentist for their first dentist, they may become anxious or nervous about their first visit.
There are a few things you can do to ease your child’s nervousness and apprehension about visiting the dentist and preparing them for their first interaction with a dentist and hygienist. Some of the things you can do include:
- Take your child with you for your next dental checkup. First, ask your doctor if your child can accompany you during your next appointment so they can see what happens during a routine dental exam.
- Allow your child to learn about the dentist. There are thousands upon thousands of resources available to allow your child to learn about how friendly the dentist is and what happens when they visit the dentist. From YouTube videos for children about dentists to kids books about dentists for kids, there is a bounty of educational tools to inform your children.
- Play dentist with them. You and your child can pretend and “play” dentist at home. You can go through exercises and count your teeth, and pretend to examine your teeth. By doing this you can reduce the stress involved with seeing a dentist for your child.
- Participate in dental care with your child. By brushing teeth and taking care of their oral health with them they can establish a solid foundation of fun and interactive oral care which they can carry with them into adulthood.
Are you ready to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment?
Our team and Dr. Noll loves to help children with their dental health and they’re always excited to see new younger patients at the office. When you schedule your child’s first dentist appointment make sure to use some of the tips above, so they feel comfortable and confident in their first exams. To schedule their first dental exam, call us at 717.243.9020 or contact us.