How do you make sure your child’s first visit to the dentist goes smoothly?
1/ Before the first visit
Get your child ready by playing games – for example, ask them to count their teeth, or to count yours. Explain to them that the dentist will probably take pictures of their teeth with a special camera. It’s important to treat this visit as an everyday occurrence, and to try to avoid transmitting any nervousness you may feel to your child – who is likely to notice if you appear nervous. If parents have a positive attitude, this will be transmitted to the child and gain their trust.
2/ During the visit
Depending on a child’s age and temperament, the dentist may ask the parents to remain close by, so they can hold the child if necessary. Take careful note of the dentist’s advice and arrange another appointment in six months’ time, as many dental problems are more easily dealt with if detected early.
3/ After the visit
Encourage your child to form good dental hygiene habits, and keep them up. Make sure that they brush their teeth at least twice a day, using a non-fluoride toothpaste until they know how to spit out correctly. Teach them to use dental floss once a day, and make sure that they eat healthily, avoiding too much sweet food.