The average child already has a full set of baby teeth by the age of three. That means they'll need to start visiting the dentist pretty early in life if they want to keep a healthy mouth.
But what's it like to visit the dentist for the first time? Parents and children alike sometimes worry about this first visit. That might be because they don't know what to expect on a first dentist visit.
Learning about what to expect at a pediatric dentist in London will help you to make the most of your appointment. Keep reading to find out what to expect at a first dentist appointment.
A Warm Welcome
Our staff are experienced in welcoming young patients to the practice. After the appointment is over, we normally offer stickers or other small rewards to allow our young patients to feel proud about being so brave at the dentist!
Good dental care ought to continue throughout a person's life. Making these first visits to the dentist pleasant and easy should get your child off to a good start when it comes to dental hygiene.
Before the examination begins, we'll communicate clearly with you about how the examination will unfold. We'll work with you to ensure your child feels at ease.
You will also have the opportunity to share any concerns you have with your child's dentist. Perhaps you're worried about the development of their teeth, or you may have some concerns about pain somewhere in their mouth.
After the appointment is over, we'll give you some advice on keeping your child's mouth healthy. We'll talk to you about teething and how to help this process run smoothly.
Afterwards, you can schedule a follow-up appointment. This could simply be a routine check-up, scheduled months in advance, or it might be an appointment for further treatment.
A Simple Examination
A basic examination forms the main part of a child's first dental appointment. This may vary slightly depending on the age of your child.
You'll stay in the examination room with your child to help keep your child comfortable. You will also have the chance to communicate any issues or worries to the dentist.
First Dentist Visit Age Two
This should only take a few minutes, as the dentist counts your child's teeth and conducts a basic examination.
We are especially careful when conducting a pediatric dental exam on children at this age. A gentle approach is the order of the day. While you may recall a little prodding and scraping in your own dental checkups, good pediatric dentists do their best to avoid causing discomfort.
First Dentist Visit Age Five
A first dental examination for a five-year-old could be a little more involved. The dentist will feel around the child's gum line and give a more detailed examination of their teeth. This should be a fairly painless and easy process.
What are the Most Common Dental Procedures in Pediatrics?
The most common reason for a visit to a pediatric dentist is for a simple checkup. Checkups are important to support good oral health for children, and they should start checkups from the age of two.
Children often develop cavities in their teeth. The likelihood of a cavity developing is increased with poor dental hygiene. But they can also occur in even the healthiest of teeth.
This issue is fairly common in children having their first dental visit at age five.
The start of the process is the hardest part, as the dentist will need to do some localized numbing to ensure the child feels no pain. This will come in the form of a quick injection into the gums. This will cause only minor pain, like a sharp scratch, and will be over in a few seconds.
After the patient's mouth is numbed, the infected part of a tooth will need to be drilled out. Then the inside of the tooth will be filled with a substance chosen by the dentist and parent.
The sound and feel of the drill can be a little frightening. But thanks to that numbing from earlier, it should be entirely painless. You can stay close to your child to comfort them and offer them encouragement and praise.
Occasionally, a child's tooth may need to be fully extracted. This may be due to issues with dental hygiene, but it can also happen even to the healthiest children's mouths. Sometimes a new tooth comes through poorly aligned, or a mouth is too crowded, and the only solution is a complete extraction.
Extractions require some numbing, just like fillings. Some tears may be expected here, but once this is over, the rest of the process should run smoothly.
What are the Characteristics of a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentists come from a variety of different backgrounds, but there are a few key attributes all of them should have.
The best pediatric dentists have friendly and caring manners. They should offer a friendly greeting to parents and children. They'll also be patient and reassuring if a child is frightened or worried about visiting the dentist.
Pediatric dentists also have strong attention to detail. The best ones can notice issues with gums or teeth from a quick examination.
Prepare for the First Dentist Visit
Before bringing your child to their first dental appointment, it's a good idea to prepare. This is especially important if your child is having their first dental visit at age two. Don't blindside them with the visit, but let them know in advance that they have a visit to the dental office planned.
Use positive language to help the child understand dentists are there to help them. You could also read some books or watch some TV shows together that feature dentists. There is a lot of children's media available that can help children to learn about dentists in a fun and soothing way.
Quality Dental Care for the Whole Family
Going to the dentist might seem scary for a lot of people, but we always do our best to set patients at ease. We'll work with you to make things easier for you and your family.
Whether you're taking your child to their first dentist visit, or you need a dental appointment for yourself, we can help. Cosmo Dental Center welcomes new patients, so book an appointment today!