If you have a baby, you will know that there are a whole host of things to remember; when they should wean, when they need vaccinations, when they need their nappy changing! The reality is that with information overload, considering taking your baby to the dentist may not be top of the priority list. But there are many reasons why visiting a Coorparoo family dental is important.
Children need routine
You may have heard this before when it comes to getting your child to bed at night, but the same may be said about getting your child used to visiting the dentist. From as young as 18 months, it can be a good idea to take your child to the dentist to let them become familiarised with the surroundings and to have a ‘ride’ on the chair! Once you have done this, a dentist can begin to examine a little one’s teeth from 2 years onwards. Most children’s teeth will develop normally, but it can be important for some to have dentists examining their teeth due to variances in colour, shape and size.
How can a dentist help my child?
When your little one is as young as 2 years old, it is likely that the dentist will just need to examine the mouth to keep an eye on the teeth and gums. As your child grows, however, a dentist can support children by educating them on how to brush and floss properly. They can also advise parents on which toothpastes and brushes to use. For example, a fluoride toothpaste is appropriate for children over 3 years old. By establishing good oral hygiene from an early age, it can prevent issues such as gingivitis, a type of gum disease, further down the line. Fluoride does actually appear in water to some degree, but it may not be at the optimum concentration. Also, dentists can further support teeth through applying varnish to teeth and prescribing fluoride tablets, if required.
What if my child is nervous?
Visiting a family dental practice from an early age should certainly help to reduce anxiety for children visiting the dentist. However, if your child is anxious, they may develop a dental phobia. Fortunately, dentists are able to support patients with extreme anxiety and have techniques they can use to help patients relax more. Explaining exactly what treatments will involve and going at the child’s pace helps to remove fear of the unknown and allows the child to feel in control of when these things will take place. Dental practices are often well-equipped for children as well – with televisions, toys, books and sometimes iPads or gaming facilities. Parents can also help by preparing their child for what a visit to the dentist will be like, as this can remove some of the fear of the unknown too. If the parent is anxious about the dentist this may also transfer to the child, so staying calm is important.
As with every stage in a child’s life, it can be exciting and a little nerve-racking, but making a trip to the dentist part of your child’s activities is perhaps one of the best parenting steps you can take for your child.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.