You’ve been coming to the dentist for years; do you remember the first time you came? Probably not. Here at Murfreesboro Family Dentistry, we treat patients of all ages and love seeing your kiddos for their first visit. We take special care during your child’s first dental visit and make sure it’s as pleasurable of an experience as possible for them.
Prepare Your Children for Their First Dental Visit
More likely than not, your child is not going to enjoy being in the dentist office. Of course, we tried to make it as pleasant as possible for them, but it’s a new place with new faces, new noises, and new smells. A lot of adults don’t even like coming to the dentist. So, you play an important role in your child’s first visit.
Scheduling Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment
Scheduling may be more important than you think. We want to eliminate as many factors as possible that might make your child anxious or irritable. Most children become cranky for one of three reasons: they are hungry, they’re tired, or they want something they can’t have. For this reason, try to schedule your child’s appointments in the morning after they’ve had a good night’s sleep and after they’ve eaten breakfast.
If your child has cut teeth, then you should already be in the habit of brushing. And even if they haven’t cut teeth, it’s always good practice to use a soft cloth or a gum brush to gently massage their gums. This not only will break loose any food particles that may be stuck on, but it can be soothing for your toddler if they are teething.
Instead of brushing your child’s teeth face to face, lay them on the ground in front of you with their head in your lap. This will give you a better look into their mouth, more control of their head, and better access to all of their teeth. This method is called lap-to-lap and it is the way most dentists will clean a toddler’s teeth. You will sit knee-to-knee with the dentist. Your child will then lay in the same way, with their head in your lap, so that the dentist has easy access to their teeth. Some children are wary of the dentist chair and want to have the comfort of their caregiver’s touch, so laying like this helps that. Only when they are older do they usually build up the courage to go it alone.
Best Drinks for your Child’s Oral Health
It might go without saying, but this deserves some attention. The best thing for your child’s dental health early on is being conscious of what you’re giving them to eat and drink. Juices, sodas, and flavored milks all are packed full of sugar and can wreak havoc on your child’s underdeveloped teeth. Not to mention the acidity of sodas and what that does to their teeth and the rest of their body. Stick with water, formula, and mother’s milk. This is best not only for their oral health, but their overall health.
What the First Visit Will Look Like
The aim of this first visit is just to ensure your child’s teeth and gums are healthy and coming in the way they should be. There won’t be any deep cleaning, fluoride, or heavy scraping, just a light brushing and some flossing.
X-rays are normally foregone until the children are a bit older, around five years old, unless there has been an injury or damage to the teeth. At that point, an x-ray might be necessary to ensure there is no damage to the root or to the surrounding teeth.
We’ll ask some questions like:
- Are you brushing and flossing every day?
- Are you having a lot of sugary sweets or drinks?
- Do you suck your thumb?
If the child is old enough to answer for themselves, this is preferable. Otherwise, of course, the parents can answer for them.
Other than that, we will count their teeth, make sure everything is as it should be, and have you on your way in no time.
We know that there are a lot of dentist offices out there, but we are truly a family dentist office. We love getting to watch the children grow up, move from lap-to-lap onto the chair, and we love being a trusted part of this community. Murfreesboro is growing fast; we’re glad to watch it happen with you as our patients. Call us today to set up a consultation.