Pacific Dental Care – Children’s Dentist.
Pediatric Dentistry in Seattle (Ballard) and Issaquah
Why Start so Early?
There are several good reasons for early dental visits:
- Parents might not recognize early dental problems.
- Early dental visits allow your dentist to prevent problems rather than spend time correcting them.
- If any problems exist, these can be diagnosed early and managed before they get too complicated.
- Advice on nutrition and home dental care is provided earlier.
- Children start to get cavities as soon as the first teeth emerge. Babies put to bed with a bottle of juice or milk are likely to develop extensive decay.
- Cavities in milk teeth need to be filled to relieve pain and allow the child to eat, talk and smile confidently.
- Children can have developmental dental problems like crooked teeth or a bad bite. The sooner these are discovered, the better the chances of successful treatment.
- It is important that the first dental visit is pleasant, not anxiety-producing. Going to see the dentist only when the child has problems, does not allow this.
Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist
Believe it or not, when parents set a positive attitude and example, dental visits can be enjoyable for children. Never bribe your child into going to the dentist — and don’t use a dental visit as a punishment. You shouldn’t let your child hear scary stories about the dentist. And under no circumstances should your child know that you feel any anxiety about going to the dentist yourself. Set a good example for your child by brushing and flossing your own teeth thoroughly everyday and by visiting the dentist regularly. Dental health for your children is incredibly important, and as your local pediatric dentist we want to make sure your kids have a head start!
By talking about the dental visit in a positive, matter-of-fact way, as you would about any important new experience, you can greatly reduce your child’s concern and help make the visit a pleasant one.
You can help make your child’s first visit to the dentist a pleasant experience. During this check-up, the dentist will examine the child’s teeth and gums for tooth decay and other problems. X-rays may be taken to make sure the facial bones and teeth are developing properly. If necessary, your child’s teeth will be professionally cleaned or a follow-up appointment for cleaning may be scheduled. The dentist will also discuss important preventive home care for maintaining good oral health.
It may be helpful to visit the dental office for a walk-through to meet the staff and familiarize your child with both the office and examination routine.
Your dentist can do a lot to put your child at ease during that first visit. By scheduling regular dental visits by your child’s third birthday, you can help your child have strong, healthy teeth for a lifetime.
First Visit Do’s and Don’t
FIRST VISIT DO’S
- Familiarize your child with the dental office. Take your toddler along when someone else in the family is going for a dental check-up.
- Play “dentist”. Count your child’s teeth as you shine a light on them. Then switch roles and let your child play dentist.
- Read to your child a book about going to the dentist for the first time. For example, “Timmy Visits the Dentist” is a coloring book produced by the Singapore Dental Health Foundation.
- Before the appointment, tell the dentist about your child, including any special needs or medical problems like allergies or heart conditions.
- Make the appointment on a day and time when the child is not tired.
- Be low-key. Treat the visit as routine. Answer questions the child poses, honestly but not too specifically.
- Allow plenty of time for getting ready on the day of the appointment so as not to rush the child.
- Let the dentist decide whether you should stay in the room with your child. Some children respond better without their parents present.
FIRST VISIT DON’T
- Don’t make the visit the high point of the day. Your child will suspect that something is up.
- Avoid using bribery and threats in an attempt to encourage good behavior. Especially refrain from threatening the child with a dental visit when he refuses to brush his teeth or misbehaves.
- Try not to be anxious about the visit. Don’t communicate your own fears to the child.
- Avoid saying negative words like pain, jab, pull, or drill.
- Don’t try to describe exactly what will happen. The dentist has special words and ways to explain the procedures to the child.
- Don’t expect perfect behavior. Your child may be shy or fearful and misbehave. If your child throws a tantrum, be firm. With a child over 3 years old the dentist may want to handle the situation without your presence in the treatment room.
- Don’t make the dentist the villain. Dental care is something you want for your child.
Children’s Dentist – Seattle & Issaquah