Whenever you hear the phrase “going to a dentist”, 9 out of 10 times you associate it with needles, scary tools, and pain. If an adult is terrified of a dentist, imagine how a child would react. The importance of dental health and hygiene cannot be overstated. When it comes to kids, the role of parents is vital in keeping their children safe and healthy. It is, therefore, important for the parents to ensure that their children visit the dentist regularly. The question, however, is to take the fear element out of these visits. Here are the answers to the five most important questions regarding dental visits for children.
1. What is the best age for the first visit?
One of the most asked questions by parents is regarding the first visit to a dentist. When should a child first see a dentist? It is crucial to develop this habit from a very early age. The best idea would be to take your child to a dentist when he/she has reached the age of one. Think of it as your birthday gift, one that will go a long way in keeping your child strong and healthy.
2. How often shall a child see the dentist?
Regular dental checkups are important to keep your child’s health in check. In normal circumstances, try to plan a visit every six months. This will not only develop a routine for your child but also ensure that nothing serious (or even mildly serious) misses the eye of your physician. These regular visits can save your child from a long-running issue and the pain that comes with it.
3. How to prepare for a visit to the dentist?
The most common mistake committed by almost all parents is to raise instil fear in their children when it comes to a visit to the dentist. If you make it look like a punishment and talk about pain, bitter medicines, and injections, your child would never want to see a dentist. To make sure that your child willingly visits a dentist and also shares his/her problems, you must not make the doctor look like a bad guy. Instead, try to give it a pleasant and, if needed, funny appearance. Show them animations and let them play the games where doctors are not ‘hurting’ anyone. Do not talk about the pain, instead focus on the benefits.
4. What to do on the first visit?
The first visit should not be a formal medical checkup unless it is absolutely necessary. It should rather be a kind of meet and greet, an introduction where the dentist gets to know the child and vice versa. It is extremely important that the child does not feel any physical pain and emotional stress during or after the first visit. The first impression of a dentist goes a long way. If the image left on the kid’s mind is that of fear and pain, you’ll have a hard time with the follow-up visits that can prove harmful to his/her health.
5. Who should accompany the child on the first visit?
The first visit demands maximum support. It is, therefore, important that both the parents accompany the child on the first visit to a dentist. Talk to the child before, during, and after the visit. Give the impression that you’re with him/her and offer all the support you can. It is also important that the siblings and cousins, if any, are not with the child on the first visit. This is not advisable because siblings can make fun of the kid later on which can keep him/her away from the dentist. Also if one kid cries, the other will think something is wrong and will be scared, if the dentist lost 1 child;s trust he lost 2.
Conclusion: There is nothing more important than the well-being of a child and dental health is of prime importance in this regard. Keep your children safe and healthy with regular visits to a dentist.