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  • Dr. Rishika Sahay

WHEN TO TAKE YOUR CHILD FOR THEIR FIRST DENTAL VISIT.

Parents are always anxious to do everything right for the kids, especially their first’s, be it their first birthday, first vaccination, first general health check-up, etc. But the one neglected aspect of these firsts is your child’s first dental visit. According to researches, the first time a child visits a dentist is between 4-6 years of age with the primary reason being either pain or decay.


Now I have already discussed most of the dental problems can only be treated and not reversed back to how it was before, do you think it is correct to make your child suffer because of your negligence? The most common reason behind this negligence is “these are milk teeth are anyway going to shed” but the truth is, milk teeth or primary teeth often decides how your permanent teeth behave. More cavities in milk teeth show that the person is going to be more prone to cavities in permanent teeth as well. Also, how your milk teeth are placed in the jaws determines how your permanent teeth are going to erupt. How you lose your milk teeth also determines when and where your permanent teeth are going to erupt. And there are a number of more reasons why you should take your child’s milk teeth seriously.


WHAT IS THE CORRECT TIME THEN?


The first dental visit is usually short and more informative. According to a number of researches, the most appropriate time to take your child for their first dental visit is within 12 months of age or within 6 months after the eruption of their first teeth.

And follow-up every 6 months to 1 year, however, the dentist suggests depending on your child’s oral health status.


WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE FIRST DENTAL VISIT?


1. Parent counseling: Inform and teach parents about baby bottle decay, swallowing patterns, pacifier habit. Teething, maintaining a child’s oral hygiene, diet, and all the dental care basics.

2. Check for bite, decay, discoloration,

3. Suggesting ways to prevent future dental problems like dental sealants, fluoride application, etc.

4. Potential problems in gums, jaw.

5. If necessary, cleaning of teeth in toddlers.

6. Assessment of oral habits (thumb sucking, lip sucking, tongue thrusting, etc.).

7. Building a friendly relationship between the dentist and the child instead of scaring a child with dental treatment on the first visit.

TIPS FOR POSITIVE FIRST DENTAL VISIT:

1. Schedule morning appointments when the child is fresh and active.

2. Never lie to your child about their dental visit.

3. Child is usually sitting on the mother’s lap and not directly on the dental chair.

4. Show them if there is some other kid undergoing the treatment positively.

5. Tell your child everything about the scheduled visit.

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