What Age Should I Bring My Child?
Polka Dot Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend for your child to have their first pediatric dental visit when their first tooth grows in or by their first birthday.
Why 1 Years Old for the First Visit?
This is the perfect time to provide counseling about brushing diet and nutrition, feeding, growth and development in any digit or pacifier habits. You may think this sounds young, but children can develop tooth decay even before their first tooth erupts in their mouth.
First visits are also about comfortability. If a child is scared or uncomfortable, it can severely delay dental work for the child. For example, if a child is stressed and crying the doctor will be unable to conduct an examination nor will they be able to do a cleaning or any further work.
By familiarizing themselves with the pediatric dental chair, the instruments and the doctor, the child will be able to relax and become comfortable with the whole process.
Dentists are portrayed negatively and with a touch of horror in pop culture. A quick scan of any movies, tv shows, cartoons or any other form of entertainment will usually return hilariously scary depictions of the dental office.
How to Prepare My Child for the First Visit to Polka
Prior to your child’s first dental visit. It is important for parents to describe visit events as fun and exciting. Make it fun at home by watching videos or reading books about going to the pediatric dentist.
Take Your Child to Your Own Dentist Appointment
One of the biggest suggestions we give is to take your child to your own dental visit. By bringing your child to the dentist and showing them how comfortable, fun and important it is to you, your child will be excited to do the same.
However, if they have never seen you go to the dentist and they are thrust into the situation, it will be new and scary for them. They will feel singled out and that they are going through some unlucky situation that is almost a punishment for them.
Show them how excited you are to be going to the dentist. How much of a responsible person are your being. Share a few laughs with the staff and dentist to convey the friendship. Get the child to be excited for their time.
Play Dentist at Home
A great way to get your child ready for the dentist includes playing dentist at home by counting and brushing your child’s teeth.
Put them lying down or sitting in your lap or sing songs when brushing your child’s piece in addition, believe it or not, the parents attitude plays a big role on how a child may respond to their dental visits. We encourage parents to come to be important with a calm and relaxed attitude for children.
Watch & Read Fun Dental Videos and Books
There are many fun children’s books that playfully illustrate the importance of dental health. Easy-to-follow narratives are used. The bad guys are the plaque. The good guys are the child of course with their brushing. The pediatric dentist and their tools are the ultimate weapons that only the best child can access.
These are easily found at the local library for you to borrow and read to your child. Many of our patients come from the Alpharetta, John’s Creek, Roswell and Cummings areas so we listed some local libraries you can visit:
Alpharetta Public Library
10 Park Plz
Alpharetta, GA 30009
Robert E Fulton Library
5090 Abbotts Bridge Rd
Johns Creek, GA 30005
Forsyth County Public Library
2820 Old Atlanta Rd
Cumming, GA 30041
East Roswell Library
2301 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Roswell, GA 30076
Coloring activities are also readily available online and in other books. We’ve found a great activities resource from Kids Healthy Teeth, a pediatric dentist friend in Katy, Texas.
Don’t forget contemporary activities as well. There is YouTube and fun games online that can be found to help a child take a step toward the gamification of dental health.
Take a Virtual Tour; Polka Dot Pediatric Dentistry Has One
The fear of the dental visit often goes away once a child knows what to expect. Therefore if you show the child what to expect when they get to your office it will help day of jitters.
Take your kids on a virtual tour of the Polka Dot Pediatric Dentistry office. We have photos for them so they can see the fun games, tablets and paintings we have at the office.
In addition, we have videos that show our practice and different kids interacting on their dental visit.
Start Great Oral Habits & Practices at Home
Rather than having everything be so new, take some time to show your child what brushing teeth looks like. Find fun animations online or show them with their own teeth. This way when Dr. Nanna is going through what he will be doing with the child, the child will feel confident and smart because they know what he is talking about.
Common Mistakes Parents Make About Their Children’s Dental Health
A Delta Dental study found that money and insurance was not the top reason for parents taking their children to the pediatric dentist.
The most frequently cited reason for not taking a child to the pediatric dentist in the last 12 months was “the child is too young” at 62%.
Lack of insurance coverages was cited by 12% of parents and caregivers.
Though we expected the reason to be financial, rather the reason for not starting children on pediatric dental care comes from a misconception.
Many parents think that children need to have a full set of teeth or need to be much older than they are to start dental care. The Delta Dental survey showed that the average age at the initial pediatric dental visit was 2.6 years.
This is 1 and a half year too late!
The average of 2.6 years also ignored the results of caregivers and parents who had NOT taken their child to the pediatric dentist yet. It was 34%.
Therefore, the actual average age may be way worse than 2.6.
Like we’ve mentioned above, it’s best to start pediatric dental care at the age of 1 or 6 months after the first tooth appears. If your child is way beyond 1 years old, its okay. The worst thing to do is feel guilty or nervous and keep putting it off.
Put a call into our office and we can work on getting your child on the right track.
Another common reason we here from many of our older patients is that they don’t want their children to miss school. Many schools do excuse medical visits.