Are you planning your very first dentist appointment for your little one? You may feel a little apprehensive.
This is totally normal, mummies and daddies. It’s nerve wracking because we don’t want our babes to be upset or scared, and we also want to make the job as easy as possible for the dentist! We’ve asked the parents in our online community for some pointers and will be looking at…
- When can we start taking our child to the dentist?
- How can I keep my child comfortable?
- How can I remove any fear of the dentist?
When can we start taking our child to the dentist?
The NHS states that you can start taking your child as soon as their milk teeth start to come in – dental care is free for children on the NHS so it won’t cost you anything!
Taking them as early as possible is a great way to get them used to the routine of the appointment, checks and procedures, making future trips much easier. The dentist can also help you to keep track of your child’s dental hygiene and prevent tooth decay.
How can I keep my child comfortable?
To make the appointment go as smoothly as possible, our mummies have given us the following handy tips;
- When booking, make sure your little one is ok to sit on your lap for the appointment if it’ll make them feel more at ease.
- Introduce brushing as early as possible so they’re used to people touching their mouth and teeth.
- Make sure you register with a dentist who is used to kids and is personable – it can make all the difference.
- Look into local practices with a ‘child smile’ service – Emma has explained more below!
Emma Noble told us:
” In our area (Fife) they offer a ‘child smile’ service, usually arranged through the health visitor. My son is 15 months and has been twice and once with us for our check up. Their service is basically a room with “dentisty” toys/books within the dentist itself. They check wee ones gums/teeth if any. He will go to that until he has a full set of teeth to go into the big chair. I think its amazing what they do.”
How can I remove any fear of the dentist?
It’s understandable if your little one finds the prospect of a dentist appointment daunting, or seems anxious for future trips after their first. After all, it’s a new environment, it’s easy for them to struggle to understand and become a little overwhelmed. It’s important to….
- Keep all trips as happy and positive as possible.
- Go as regularly as possible to normalise it.
- Read books about going to the dentist; Biff, Chip & Kipper: Going To The Dentist* is a good choice!
Liv Speight told us:
“Our first visit was at the age of 2 because that’s when she had all her teeth (Or most), she wouldn’t open her mouth! However, since I got a little play pretend dentist set and we role play being dentist! So hopefully she will be fine next time. We also sing songs etc.”
Caitlin Mcleod told us:
“We have brushed our boys teeth since he was about three months old even before he got teeth so he is totally ok with brushing and will do a pretty good job himself and then let me do an extra clean to make sure we’ve got all of them! Best thing I ever did starting his brushing young and taking him to the dentist early on.”
Bethany Collings told us:
I read a lot of books about the dentist to my LO. Even PLAYED dentist at home. She took it very well when she needed a filling, not excellently but she did a good job staying calm.
This episode of Peppa Pig is also highly rated by our mummies…
Share your own tips & insight with us in the comments.
Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx