If you’re like most parents, you already know that kids and dentistry don’t always mix. Children are often nervous and apprehensive when it comes to dental exams and procedures, and at Bellbrook Family Dentistry, we strive to create an environment designed to help put little minds at ease. Our staff is friendly-yet-professional, and we make your child’s comfort one of our top priorities.
Dental Health For Your Child
Lifelong good dental health starts from a very early age. Many parents still erroneously believe that a child’s first teeth, or baby teeth, don’t matter because they’ll be replaced by permanent teeth in a matter of years. However, the overall health of your child’s primary teeth has a significant effect on the long-term health of their permanent teeth. Furthermore, teaching children good oral hygiene habits from a very young age is recommended because it helps establish good habits that will become a part of your child’s lifetime routine.
Although research shows that the average age of most children’s first dental visit occurs at age 2.6 years, experts agree that your child’s first dental visit should happen no longer than six months after the appearance of the first primary tooth. This puts the first dental visit for most children at about age one.
Your Child’s First Visit
Your child’s first visit to the dentist probably won’t last any longer than 45 minutes and most likely will be over by the end of half an hour. During the first visit, the dentist will perform a routine examination of your child’s teeth and gums as well as ask you for a complete medical history for the child. One of the benefits of taking your child to the dentist for the first time at such a young age is that the child is simply too young to be nervous and afraid.
You can help the first visit be a positive experience by allowing enough time for the visit, scheduling it early in the day, being prepared with your child’s medical records, and maintaining a calm and relaxed demeanor — if you’re visibly nervous about the appointment, your child may pick up on it. You should either arrive early enough to be able to take care of any necessary paperwork without being rushed or complete the paperwork online before arriving at the appointment. Our waiting room is designed to be appealing to children and has toys and games, so please feel free to arrive several minutes early so that you and your child can relax for a short time instead of heading straight into the examination room. It’s also recommended that you schedule your child’s dental appointment as early in the day as possible to avoid before or after nap crankiness.
Continuing Dental Care
Your child’s first dental visit serves as a foundation for a lifetime of good oral hygiene habits. Subsequent regular visits are important because preventive measures are the hallmark of good dentistry, and this means catching issues in their initial stages when treatment is far easier and less invasive. We recommend that your child see the dentist once every six months for a gentle tooth cleaning and examination. It’s essential that you encourage good oral hygiene at home to reduce instances of tooth decay and resulting cavities.
Our Cavity Free Club
As a part of our commitment to making dentistry a positive part of your child’s life, we’ve developed a Cavity Free Club for all of our patients who are age 12 and under. If no cavities are found in your child’s teeth during the scheduled examination and cleaning, their name is automatically put into drawing for prizes to be awarded at the end of the month. We draw two names for boys and two more names for girls, and winners get to come to our office and choose between a variety of fabulous toys, including games, dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, and other toys that children love.
Our office hours are Monday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office at your convenience if you would like to make an appointment for your child or any other family member. As a full service family dentistry provider, we give our patients our best no matter what stage of life they’re at.