Your Child and their first visit to the dentist
So many adults have a fear of going to the dentist. Over the many years we’ve been looking after people, we’ve found that most of these fears have been triggered by a bad childhood experience at the dentist.
So here at North Brisbane Dental, part of our mission is to ensure every single child that walks through our door has a positive experience. We aim to build trust and keep that trust. If kids have fun at the dentist (yes, it is possible!) they’ll grow into adults who are comfortable with the dentist, and are then more likely to have good oral health for life.
When should I bring my child for their first dental visit?
This is a tricky question. Technically, and according to the Australian Dental Association, once a child has teeth, they should be seeing the dentist. But I’m sure anyone who’s ever been a parent would collectively roll our eyes at the thought of our 1 year old submitting to a dental exam without complaint. Generally speaking, we usually see children for their first appointment anywhere between the ages of one and three years. Some kids respond better than others, so if your child doesn’t co-operate at their first visit, please don’t worry. We’ll still give them a goody bag and we can try again in 6-12 months. At North Brisbane Dental Clinic, all of our Dentists are specially trained in how to examine young children so don’t be concerned if your little one likes to run around!
Why do we recommend so early on?
At the first appointment, we aim to assess any teeth they might have, their development, as well as making sure their soft tissues are all healthy. This is a brilliant opportunity to get to know your child and really understand their individual eating habits and how to improve brushing.
Bringing your child into the dentist early helps them get used to the sounds, smells and the general environment. We do our best to keep things fun for our little ones with a custom goodie bag, stickers and dental treats!
Is there anything I can do to help get my child ready for their first appointment?
As much as we keep our children relaxed and comfortable at North Brisbane Dental Clinic, there are some helpful tips we share with parents to make things that bit easier…
- Do they have an older sibling?
If your child has a confident older sibling please do bring them along and have them watch their elder brother or sister in the chair. Quite often we have younger siblings excited to jump up next for their turn. They can even participate by helping the assisting with the suction!
- Helpful Media
Check if your child’s favourite TV program features a positive ‘Visit to the Dentist’ episode. Peppa pig has a particularly good episode where Peppa and George go to the dentist. George is quite nervous at first, but soon realises there’s nothing to worry about.
- Talk about the Visit
Talking about the visit and even playing dentist at home can be very useful. Avoiding the use of any negative language and focusing on fun things like ‘counting teeth’ really helps. When kids arrive for their first visit, we usually explain to them that we’re going to count their teeth, make sure they’re nice and healthy, and clean them with our special toothbrush. Then they get a goody bag with a toy!
- Special Requirements
If you have any particular concerns or feel your child might require some extra care please get in touch. We are experienced with helping children with special needs, such as anxiety, autism, OCD, Down’s Syndrome and sensory sensitivity. We have lots of little tricks to make their visit fun, and if you have any guidance as to what your child is particularly anxious about or what triggers their anxiety, we can always accommodate you.