Baby and Toddlers Dental Health Part 2

Following on from Part 1 of Baby And Toddler’s Dental Health Post

When should my child start visiting the dentist?

Dentistry is not just about teeth. The dentist checks your gums, lips, cheeks and the inside of
your mouth at every dental check-up. Your baby should first visit the dentist at either 12
months of age or when their first tooth comes through, whichever comes first. If you notice
anything of concern please call your dentist straight away, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Use positive and child friendly terms such as: “seeing the tooth fairy’s friend” or “going
for a ride in the dental chair”.
Do: Lead by example- they will not be scared of the dentist if you are not.
Do: Role play: Practice at home before your dental visit, make a dental visit a fun game,
explain that the dentist takes care of your teeth.
Do: Enjoy it!: Take a photo, have fun with it, this is a significant occasion.

Don’t: Tell your child to be brave- this may make them think it will be scary.
Don’t: Be anxious yourself.
Don’t: Bribe your child into coming.
Don’t: Use the dentist as a punishment or deterrent.
Don’t: Tell your child that it will or won’t hurt.
Don’t: Use words such a “needle” “drill” or “pull”. Your dentist will be well versed in using
child friendly words and meanings to avoid your child becoming fearful or scared e.g.: Your
dentist will use words like “putting your tooth to sleep” or “giving your tooth sleepy juice”
rather than “we will now need to give you a needle”.

Part 3 of this article will be released next week.