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Tips first visit to the paediatric dentist for young children

Hello, I'm Dr. Marianne Salas and today I want to talk to you about the first visit to the dentist for the little ones at home.

This visit always gives us a little bit of anxiety, we usually associate the dentist with something bad or scary. That's why all parents usually feel anxious because they don't know what to expect and are very worried about their little one crying.

The first thing I want you to understand is that you are doing something good for your child, such as their first visit to the paediatrician or any other specialist. Also, think that early visits and before your child has any problems will help to make it a positive experience. Where the dentist will never be associated with pain and we can work on the prevention and control of their habits.

Also, if you are worried about your little one's crying (I know, we don't like to see our babies cry), we must understand that crying is totally normal and expected in a small child (especially those under 3 years of age), as the dental consultation is a new and unexpected situation. It is their way of telling you that they are uncomfortable and scared.

Many parents think it's better to delay the first visit until their child is older and behaves well, but this is a mistake. The earlier you bring your child for the first visit, the lower the risk of cavities, so the benefits will far outweigh the uncomfortable moments of the check-up.

The first early dental visit is based on a discussion of the baby's oral care and then a clinical assessment of the baby's mouth.

To help you prepare for that moment, here are a few tips to make the time of that first check-up a little easier:

1. Always find a paediatric dentist:

Although many dentists treat children, not all of them have the right training and vocation. It is essential that your paediatric dentist has experience with babies and young children, so that in addition to extensive knowledge, he or she also has an appropriate and caring manner and adaptive techniques to facilitate the consultation.

2. Appropriate environment:

Ideally, the consultation should be a large space (they don't like to feel closed in), bright, with baby stretchers or adapted dental chairs. With a professional but playful atmosphere where your little one can feel at ease and at home.

3. Bring him in at a young age:

The first check-up with the paediatric dentist should be before your child's first birthday, so the check-up will be quicker and painless. This way you can clear up all your doubts about your little one's dental care and talk to the paediatric dentist about the necessary care, hygiene recommendations, feeding, breastfeeding, etc.

4. Tell your child where he or she is going:

Talk to him about the importance of taking care of his teeth. You can prepare them by showing them books and even episodes of their favourite cartoons going to the dentist, such as Peppa Pig at the dentist.

5. Play the dentist at home:

Count his teeth with a mirror, or one of the dentist's games for at home. This will prepare them and they will be able to express their discomfort. Also explain that parents also go to the dentist to look after their children's teeth. The next check-up you have, you can take him with you.

6. Bringing a toy to the appointment:

It has been shown that they feel more secure when they have a familiar object near them. We can also spend some time playing with them, strengthening our bond.

7. Once in the consulting room, try to e relaxed:

Remember that your child is able to sense your emotions very easily. If you are nervous, he will have reason to be nervous too. You should have the same attitude as when you take him to the park.

8. Assume the cry:

If your baby is under 3 years old, crying is the right thing to do at that age. Crying does not bring trauma and the baby will realise that we are not hurting him/her.

harm. It is the same as when he sometimes cries when

changing his nappy or even when taking a shower.

Don't look at him with pity or he will interpret that you are subjecting him to something bad and the dental visit is not, be calm and reassure him that you are doing him good. You must be convinced that taking him to the dentist is the best thing for him. Think that it is easier to overcome a few seconds of tears than the horrible sound of the turbine when you have cavities.

9. Go to the consultation on your own:

This way you can discuss your concerns with the doctor, talk about your child and the best way to handle the consultation. It is very important to establish a good relationship so that you feel confident and know that you are putting your child in good hands.

Remember that the new dentistry is based on prevention, not cure..

At Say Cheese we are waiting for you to make you feel at home.

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