Every new parent knows they can take their baby to the doctor at any time but what about the dentist? A baby’s first teeth usually pop through at around 4 months old, so does that mean they should be visiting the dentist? In this post, we’ll answer all the questions you need to know about taking your child to the dentist for the first time and when.
When is the right time to take my child to the dentist?
In most instances, we recommend taking your child to the dentist before their first birthday. However, if your child has any issues with their teeth or gums before this, we suggest coming in earlier to have them looked at. Brushing teeth is a lifelong habit that should be started from a very young age. This not only helps to keep the teeth clean, but it can help to relieve pain from erupting teeth. After their initial visit, it’s a good idea to have follow-up appointments every 6 months. By taking them when they are young, the likelihood of them being scared of visiting the dentist is drastically reduced.
Why is it so important to take my child to the dentist?
If you don’t have dental training, it is likely you may not notice early signs of decay in your children’s teeth. To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to see and recognize. If they are left untreated, these minor issues can turn into big ones that can lead to painful procedures that could have been avoided. If there are any issues with the gums or the alignment of the teeth or the jaw, these can be addressed and monitored accordingly.
What will happen during my child’s dentist visit?
The warm and friendly team at Soul Dental will ensure that your child feels safe and comfortable during their appointment. We aim to make coming to the dentist a fun time, not one that’s filled with dread or anguish. Bringing your child to their first appointment early is a good way to familiarise them with the dental environment. Here is what you and your child can expect when visiting us here at Soul Dental for an appointment:
- Your dentist will ask you some questions about your child’s medical history and their brushing routine.
- The dentist will then ask to examine your child’s mouth. They will be looking at the condition of your child’s gums and teeth and how the teeth and jaw align. If your child uses a dummy or sucks their thumb, it’s quite common for the top teeth to protrude and the lower teeth to concave. This can become a problem when prolonged dummy use or thumbing sucking continues when the adult teeth start to come in. It can prevent the mouth and teeth from aligning properly.
- Your dentist will provide you with an overview of the condition of your child’s teeth and gums.
- They will give you oral hygiene advice if needed.
How to make visiting the dentist with your child stress-free
If you have fears about visiting the dentist, you mustn’t make your child aware of this. If they see that you are scared, then they have reason to be scared too.
If your child is old enough to understand, you should have positive conversations with them about visiting the dentist in the lead-up to their appointment. Role play is a great way to explain through play what will happen when they go to the dentist.
Teaching them why brushing their teeth and visiting the dentist is so important is a good way to get them interested in looking after their teeth.
To make your visit that much more stress-free, it’s best to book their appointment around their nap time. Often babies and toddlers are irritable and unhappy when they are tired, and this can make your appointment more stressful than it has to be. If they have comforters, be sure to bring these along too.
Remember your child’s first dental appointment is non-invasive and an introduction to going to the dentist. Be sure to ask as many questions as you need to while there.
How long will my child’s dental appointment go for?
Typically, your child’s first dentist appointment will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
Will my child need an x-ray?
Children are more prone to decay than adults, and their mouths and jaws change at a rapid rate. Due to this, your child’s dentist may want to take an x-ray of their mouth. This enables them to see if there are any underlying issues that they cannot see from a visual inspection.
Will you show my child how to brush their teeth properly?
If your child is old enough to understand, it is likely that your dentist will give them a demonstration on how to clean their teeth and for how long.
How much does it cost for my child to visit the dentist?
A general check-up for a child can vary from $150 to $300 depending on who you go to however, here in Australia, the Government has a child dental benefits program that entitles children up to $1,026 over 2 calendar years which covers basic dental services. Under this scheme, it will cost you nothing to take your child to the dentist in Varsity Lakes for a check-up for the first time. To be eligible, your child needs to be aged 2-17 and have a current Medicare card.
Come see the friendly and gentle team at Soul Dental for your child’s first check-up!
We take a holistic approach to dental care and pride ourselves on our friendly and gentle services that are centered around your child. We have tonnes of experience treating little kids, and we do our very best to ensure that you and your child are comfortable and have a positive experience when visiting us. Coming to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary and by starting visits from an early age, you can avoid this altogether.
We are conveniently located on the Gold Coast in Varsity Lakes, and we’re open 6 days a week. If you’re ready to book your little one an appointment or you simply have some questions about them visiting, feel free to reach out to us.