You should start bringing your child to the dentist when their first tooth starts coming in. Here, our London dentists explain what you can expect at your kid's first dental cleaning appointment.
Even though your child will start visiting the dentist on a regular basis when they are approximately one year old, the first dental cleaning will most likely take place a little later, once the bulk of their baby teeth has erupted.
For this reason, the initial cleaning is typically performed during the toddler years, when the kid is between the ages of 12 and 36 months. It is at this period that your child's dentist will be able to detect and remove plaque and tartar buildup before they become a serious problem.
Getting Your Child Prepared for Their First Dental Cleaning
It's essential to spend some time talking to your child about what will happen before their first cleaning appointment. Talk to your children about the significance of keeping their teeth healthy, and describe what the dentist will do in a language that is suitable for their age and stage of development.
You might want to try and keep it basic. Providing too many details may make your kid concerned. Most of the time, we recommend that parents say something along the lines of this:
"The dentist is going to look at your teeth, count them, and make sure they are healthy and strong. The dentist’s name is Dr. Doctor. They are really nice!"
If your child is already worried about going to the dentist, try to avoid using unpleasant words and phrases around them. However, even if you use softer language to describe the discomfort, such as terms like "not too bad" or "only a little," words such as shot, pinch, and needle are likely to stick in the mind of your child.
If dentist appointments are a source of worry for you, try not to express your feelings to your kid during the session. When it comes to responding to new experiences, they look to you for direction. If you appear to be concerned, they will be as well.
At Your Child's Cleaning Appointment
We encourage you to speak with us in advance and tell us a little about your child's personality. Do they have a tendency to be afraid or rebellious when confronted with unknown situations? Does your child have any attachment or developmental concerns that we should be aware of and address during the appointment?
The more information we have, the more we will be able to cater to your child's individual needs and make sure they receive the care that they require.
At the beginning of the session, we will inspect your child's teeth, jaws, gums, and bite to ensure that they are in good health.
In addition, we will use specialized devices to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, exactly like we do with adult patients.
We will present recommendations for correct brushing and flossing techniques. Whether your child brushes and flosses their own teeth or you still do it for them, it never hurts to get a refresher course on the subject.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about your child's oral health or any impending dental treatments during the visit.
Following the completion of the exam and cleaning, we will schedule any required follow-up visits. Also, if you like, we may schedule the next cleaning and checkup session sooner if necessary.