Preparing for a Visit with a Pediatric DentistBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
If this is your first time taking your kid to the dentist, you probably have a lot of questions. On the one hand, you may not know how to approach this visit with your child. They may be feeling scared, unable to imagine exactly what a dentist will do to their teeth and mouth. On the other hand, you may worry about having picked the right dental office, having the right dental insurance, or remembering all the details of your child's medical history. At pediatric dentistry R+R Dental, the dental team wants you to know that your dentist is on your side so you and your child can approach this visit with confidence. Let's see what else you can do to prepare for a visit with a pediatric dentist.
Talking to Your Child Before Their First Dental Visit
Many parents put off their child´s first visit to the dentist because of their child's anxiety and fear. Others may decide to postpone a first dental visit for a later date based only on their child's reluctance to go. Sadly, this isn't the right attitude since this not only teaches a child that they are in control of their health but that postponing a medical appointment of any kind is something that is allowed and can happen easily. Have a talk that is age appropriate and answer your child's concerns to make them feel more relaxed. Here are some questions you may want to address with them:
What Happens at the Dentist?
Reassure your child that the first visit will be a short one and will involve little or no treatment. During this time, the dentist will check the child's existing teeth looking for signs of decay. They will also examine their bite, looking for potential issues with their gums, oral tissues, or jaw.
If indicated, the dentist will clean their teeth and determine their need for fluoride. They may also talk to you about the basics of oral health for children and explain how their teeth will develop. Any questions will be answered at this time.
Will the Dentist Take X-Rays?
There is no precise rule as to when a child may need to get a dental X-ray. If your child has a cleft palate or is prone to tooth decay related to their use of bottles or pacifiers, the dentist may recommend X-rays during the first visit. As the child grows, the dentist may require more X-rays to help them see whether their new teeth are growing as they should or if any bite problems are developing.
Pediatric dentists have at least two extra years of training beyond dental school, and they are trained to focus on and manage a child's teeth and oral hygiene.