Child's first visit to the dentist
What should you know and how to best prepare your child for the visit? The earlier your child gets used to visiting the dentist, the better. Visiting the dentist should be as normal for your child as visiting the paediatrician for routine examinations. Simply take your child with you when you go to the dentist for a check-up. Then your child can watch and already get used to the dentist and check-ups early on. We have some advice about when you should take your child to the dentist and can give you tips for the first caries prophylaxis appointment.
Paediatric dentist: When should I make the first appointment?
There is no set time for making the first dentist appointment. As soon as you are brushing your baby's first teeth, i.e. once the first milk teeth appear, you can take your child to see the dentist. This starts at around the age of six months, but can vary greatly from child to child. It is advisable to get your child used to going to the dentist as early as possible before your child turns 3 and has their first real appointment when all the milk teeth are there. The dentist appointments should then take place once every six months so that the development of caries in children can be detected early on for example.
You can take your child with you to one of your appointments to prepare them and get them used to the surroundings and process. Your child should feel at ease and get to know the practice, dentist, treatment chair and devices in a relaxed environment.
The dentist will initially make contact with your child during the appointment to establish a base for trust. The dentist will then use playful tactics to prepare your child for the check-up. Your help is required here: It is best if you let your child answer any questions and you keep in the background.
Place your child on your lap. The dentist can then also take a quick look in your child's mouth and see if everything is fine. Or the teeth of your child's favourite cuddly toy can be brushed using the optimum brushing technique. It is important that you are just having a check-up and not a treatment. Otherwise, your child could become unsettled by the strange noises and devices.
If your child refuses to open their mouth, calmly persuade them to do so. Stay calm and support your child. If your child leaves the dentist with a positive feeling, it will probably work even better next time.
You can repeat these visits multiple times until your child has their own appointment. Tasters create many positive experiences and your child will not be afraid of the dentist at all.
In any case, plan enough time for the first visit so that your child can discover everything and get used to the practice and dentist.
Preparing for the first dentist appointment
Visiting the dentist should be something normal and can also be practised in a playful way. Anything positive about going to the dentist is allowed.
- In simple terms, describe what happens when you go to the dentist.
- Read picture books about visiting the dentist.
- Play dentists at home by letting your child look in your mouth and counting the teeth together.
- Take a cuddly toy with you to the dentist
The right dentist for children
Normally, dental practices are well prepared for children, with play corners and the dentist approaching the topic in a playful way. But there are also dentists that are specialised in paediatric dentistry. They are adapted to the special needs of young patients and introduce children to their check-ups in a relaxed atmosphere. This results in a good relationship of trust. The decision of whether you want to see a special paediatric dentist and when you should go should be based on how you feel.