For most parents, taking their kids to the dentist for the first time is not an easy feat. Dentists generally recommend that children should visit their dentists six months after their first tooth shows or by the time they reach one year old.
In Victoria, British Columbia, bringing your child to a dentist is not a problem because the government provides subsidies for dental and health services through their BC Healthy Kids Program. Any accredited dental clinic in Victoria BC can provide these services to parents.
With this government grant, the only thing that the parents have to worry about is when they’ll take their child to their dentist.
What to expect during your child’s first dental visit
Know that your child’s first visit to the dentist is usually short and includes very little treatment. This allows your child to visit your dentist in a friendly and non-threatening way. There are dentists who ask parents to sit down in the dental chair and keep their child close during the dental exam.
There are also instances where the parents are asked to wait for their children in the reception area. That way, the dentist can build a trusting and friendly relationship with the child.
You can also expect that while the dental exam is ongoing, your child’s dentist might check all potential oral, jaw, or gum issues. Aside from these, some dentists also examine their patients for tooth decay, while also checking their bite.
It’s also normal that your oral hygienist or dentist will clean your child’s teeth and check if it needs fluoride. Before the visit ends, most dentists also take the time to educate parents on the basics of children’s oral health and discuss when they have some major developmental issues.
Your dentist might also discuss the following topics:
- Proper nutrition
- Developmental milestones
- Oral habits like lip sucking, tongue thrusting, and thumb sucking
- Fluoride needs
- Your child’s oral hygiene practices to prevent gum and teeth cavity
When it comes to your child’s checkup schedules, most dentists would like to see their patients once every six months to build and maintain a good relationship with them.
This will also allow their young patients to feel comfortable with them as they monitor these kids’ teeth development.
Regular dentist versus pediatric dentist: how are they different?
Pediatric dentists spend an additional two years of training after dental school. These additional years allow them to take more training sessions that focus on the following:
- Management of children’s developing teeth,
- Treatment of a child’s developing teeth
- Physical development and growth
- Child behavior
- Children’s dentistry special needs
Despite the difference in years of training and focus, both the regular and pediatric dentists can address your child’s oral and dental health care needs. The latter, however, are more equipped to care for young patients.
They know how to put these young patients at ease while attending to their dental needs. Plus, with the help of their staff, they can also transform their plain-looking dental clinic into one that’s inviting and friendly to their kid patients.
They can add office decor to make the clinic more like a playschool than a hospital or medical clinic. For parents with kids who have special needs, it’s more recommended to seek the help of a pediatric dentist. If you’re not sure, you can ask your child’s doctor for a recommendation.
The good thing about bringing your kids to the dentist at an early age is you help them get acquainted with their dental care. You can also spot dental problems early on. As your child gets older, he will not have a hard time visiting his dentist. Neither will have any fear of taking regular dental visits.