Taking your child to the dentist should be stress-free and relaxed.
At Lara Smile, our team is friendly and committed to providing a caring environment for patients of all ages. We offer a range of children’s dentistry services, and are experienced in treating young kids. If it’s time that you brought your little one in for their first dental appointment, here’s what you should know about the experience.
Familiarise your child with the practice
We generally recommend that you bring your child in for their first dental visit at around the age of two or three years old, but it can be very helpful to bring them along to your own appointments or with older siblings even before this age. This will help familiarise them with the dental practice, making it less likely that they will feel anxious about the environment when it’s time for their own appointment.
Beginning the habit of regular dental check-ups from a young age is hugely beneficial. Not only will your child be more likely to feel comfortable with our dental practice, but this also gives us the opportunity to identify any oral health issues early before they become more complicated over time. In many cases, early check-ups allow us to resolve problems that may otherwise not have been identified until years later.
Know what to expect from the visit
If you’re not sure what to expect from your child’s first dental visit, we encourage you to get in touch with us and raise any questions and concerns you might have. Our team is happy to explain the process to you so that you and your child feel calm about the visit. Generally, your child’s first dental visit will involve a gentle examination of the teeth, jaws, bite and gums, although this will depend on how old they are and how they react to the experience of being in the dental chair. Your dentist may demonstrate proper oral hygiene techniques so that you can keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy at home.
Keep your child’s teeth clean
Even if you bring your child in for regular dental check-ups from a young age, it’s still essential that you help them maintain their oral health at home with good hygiene and eating habits. Before you bring your little one in to see us, clean their gums with a damp cloth to remove any food particles and plaque. We also recommend that you start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth erupts — use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a little bit of toothpaste.
After the age of around three years old, you can start to use a fluorinated toothpaste. Good habits at home can help to prevent a number of oral health issues, such as tooth decay. Don’t give your young child a bottle of milk or juice when you put them down to sleep, and try to limit the time your child takes to finish a bottle. It’s also a good idea to limit your child’s consumption of sugary foods and drinks — rather stick to healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water.
Consider sedation if your child is anxious
If your child is really nervous about receiving dental treatment, you might consider sedation. We offer nitrous oxide, which is a very safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask. The sedative helps children to relax while they receive treatment, and is often a good option for very anxious patients. Your child will remain conscious, but will feel calm throughout the treatment.
If you would like to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.