Child’s First Visit
When should be your child’s first visit to the dental office?
We believe that when children are around 3 years of age is a good time to start, unless you are concerned about a specific problem.
Before this time we ask that when the first teeth come out, begin brushing them with a small, finger cot brush, damp cloth or infant’s toothbrush with salt water. This should be done at least once in the morning and once at night after the last “meal”.
To avoid “baby bottle decay”, avoid using milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at bedtime. Minimize sucking or pacifiers or thumbs at this stage to minimize orthodontic problems. We advise that you use a children’s non- fluoridated toothpaste, since kids swallow the toothpaste at that age. Your child will learn by watching your example when brushing but needs your supervision.
The first visit is a great time to familiarize your child with the dental office and our team of caring professionals. We try and make the first visit a positive and fun experience. It certainly helps us look for any signs of dental disease and plan for prevention. Your child can sit in the chair or even in your lap while you are in the chair. At that age, children often appreciate rewards for good behaviour and learn by example. We also ask that you encourage your child before the appointment with positive words. Talk to your child about the positive things they can expect such as clean teeth, a fun experience and nice dental team experiences.
At that visit or a subsequent visit, we offer a gentle polishing to remove excessive plaque. Often times we provide advice on better brushing and advice on how to encourage and reward good “dental” behaviour.
Sometimes, if your child is frightened or uncooperative, it may be necessary to reschedule the appointment. For some children with extensive dental problems, limited mouth opening and challenging behaviour we may need to refer them to a Pediatric dentist (a specialist in kid’s dentistry) for their care.