Dr Peter Etcell and Associates

When should you bring your child to the Dentist?

April 17, 2018
Posted By: Peter Etcell
Child at Dentist | Dentist Fairfield NSW

It is a misconception that kids don’t need to see a dentist until they are 6 years old or when there is a problem in the mouth. In actual fact, children should have their first visit as soon as their teeth start coming through! Yes, there is not much that we can do at this age, but what we can do is allow the child to get used to the dental experience.

Our main goal is to make kids at ease with visiting the dentist!

The first visit here is as simple as a ride up and down in the magic chair, an introduction to all our friendly instruments and also to let them get used to the staff, which will build trust!

Dentists/Hygienists are not only here to take care of teeth and gums, but we are also able to spot any problems that may affect speech patterns too!

If we can establish good habits early, the child is more likely to continue this habit as an adult, leading to better oral health throughout their lifetime!

Ideally, a child's first visit to a dentist will not be an emergency!  Unfortunately, waiting for a problem to arise will increase the risk of a negative first experience; this can lead to less compliance in the future.

How should I prepare my child for the first visit?

Please remember that children have no reason to fear the dentist…they have never been here before! The only reason that they will have any concerns is if someone tells them they should fear the dentist. It is very important to be aware of this and watch how you and others talk about the dentist in front of your children.

It is also important to discuss the visit in advance, we want the child to know exactly what to expect. It will help them be at ease, if they know that we won’t really be doing anything other than letting them look around the practice, having a ride in the chair and maybe counting their teeth.

Did you know?

Cleaning of the mouth and gums should start before any teeth have even come through! Wiping the gums with a clean piece of gauze is a perfect way to introduce your child to the idea of cleaning their teeth.

Brushing can start as soon as a single tooth has come through.

Flossing should commence as soon as 2 teeth are touching each other. Of course, at this time, flossing should be done by the parent.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.