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Parent Guide: going to the dentist


Baby teething

Is your little one due for a dentist visit? Unsure? Or perhaps you’re a bit nervous? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered!

 

In this post, we will provide tips to make dentist visits a positive experience as well as ways to make these trips into amazing learning opportunities.


Don’t worry if your little one has already visited the dentist – this guide can help you with the next one!

 

Creating a good oral hygiene routine when your little one is young is vital. This will ensure they will develop strong and healthy teeth!

 

Along with brushing twice a day, it’s recommended that you should take your child to see a dentist every six months.

 

These visits should be positive events, rather than something your child fears so it’s vital to help your little one feel at ease when visiting the dentist.  

 

Here are some tips to help:

 


Preschooler baby teeth

Before the visit

 

Before even speaking to your little one about the dentist, consider your own feelings towards them.

 

Children can pick up on adults’ emotions really easily so it’s important to avoid passing on any anxieties to your little one.

 

Explain to your little one the role of a dentist and all about how they help us keep our teeth healthy. Also, discuss the importance of having healthy gums and teeth with them.

 

Discuss the process of the visit beforehand – they will sit on a big chair, open their mouth etc. you can share storybooks to help them better visualise this (click here for some recommendations).

 

Make conversations positive and avoid any words that can cause them additional anxiety like ‘fillings’ and ‘drill’.

 

Experts suggest that you start taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth comes through (at around 6 months old) so that they can get used to the dentist's surgery.

 

But don’t worry if you haven’t done this yet, you could start by taking your little one to your own dental appointment so that they can get to know what to expect.


It’s natural if your child is nervous about the appointment, make sure they take their favourite toy along to reassure them.

 

Finally, prepare questions before your visit – it’s the best time to be reassured that your little one’s teeth are coming in okay, if you’re brushing their teeth correctly etc.

 

After the visit

 

Visiting the dentist can help inspire your child to learn more about other jobs and the community around them! Be sure to talk to them about other people who help us stay healthy and safe such as opticians, doctors, emergency services etc.

 

This is also a good opportunity to remind your little one that healthy eating will mean healthier teeth and explain why it’s best to avoid eating and drinking lots of sugary things.


Baby teething

Did you know…

 

Visiting the dentist with your little one can also be a fantastic learning opportunity to develop the following areas:

 

Language and communication

The dentist visit is a great way to introduce new vocabulary, such as ‘jaws’, ‘surgery’, ‘appointment’ and more.

 

Maths

Talking about the number of teeth your little one has is a great way to integrate math into the visit!


You can also discuss the concept of time – discuss that you made an appointment and how you need to arrive at a certain time.

 

Social development

Appointments such as these are a great opportunity for children to interact with others – they may want to say hello or goodbye or help you make the next appointment.

 

But going to a new place can make your little one shy so don’t force them to speak to anyone if they’re not comfortable.


Understanding the world

Going to the dentist will help your child better understand the different roles people take on in the community.

 

They will also be able to better understand their own hygiene – being able to discuss what teeth are used for, how to and why it’s important to look after them as well as the importance of other hygiene routines.

 

Want to find out more about looking after your little one’s teeth? Click here for our guide.

 

Additional Resources

 




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