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How to make your child at ease at the Dentist

Thursday, 15 June 2017  |  Mummy and Little Me

My daughter got her first tooth at 7 months and then it didn't take long for more to follow suit. At the time I was due a dental visit because my free maternity dental care was going to expire soon - you have got to make the most of it whilst its free haha. So I started researching (ahem googling) when I should take my child to the dentist for the first time and most things said before their first birthday so off we went. I didn't know what to expect as my daughter only had about 2 or 3 teeth but the dentist put me at ease and said that you are right to bring them once they have some teeth as it's more about getting them used to the environment and feeling comfortable in it rather than checking their actual teeth. At our first dental visit Sophia enjoyed playing with the toys in the waiting room so much so that she refused to let go of a certain one and brought it into the dentists room with her. The dentist and the assistants all made a big fuss over her and she was loving it. The dentist then asked me to sit back on the chair with her on my knee. Sophia refused to open her mouth so the dentist bravely just felt in with her finger and marked down on her chart which teeth had come through. She gave us advice about how to brush a babies teeth etc and I left feeling at ease with our visit. The dentist gave her a sticker and overall Sophia's first dentist experience was a pleasant one (apart from prising the toy out of her hands when we came out) and that's what it' all about getting them used to going so that they won't be scared when they are older.

Just like an adult we take her every 12 months and her second visit was a lot more proactive. We took her because she kept telling us that one side of her mouth was sore when she ate. At this time she was 2 years old and half the time refused to brush her teeth - it was a constant battle and she hated all toothpaste with a passion and would only brush with water on her brush. So I was thinking the worst oh no at 2 years old she is going to need a filling etc and I felt scared. Looking in her mouth to my untrained eye it looked like she had a full set off teeth but the dentist told me otherwise she is still waiting for all her back teeth so that's what was hurting - she was teething. Looking in her mouth it looked completely full of teeth I would have never of guessed but I'm so glad we made that visit as she reassured me that Sophia's teeth where all healthy and everything was normal - phew.

Sophia was relaxed in the dentist chair on her own this time and she actually opened her mouth so the dentist could get a good look. Again she got a sticker and she enjoyed the whole experience which was great, the dentist gave me brushing advice and told me that she needed to brush her teeth with toothpaste even if I had to hold her down so that was the kick up the behind that I needed. I went to our local shops and let Sophia choose her own toothpaste (a mickey mouse one) and after a few forceful tries she now sees that it doesn't taste so bad and she will brush her teeth with toothpaste. It's 6 months on from our last visit and I still don't think that any of those pesky back teeth have come through yet but hopefully it won't be long. Overall I thought that taking a baby with a couple of teeth to the dentist would be a bit pointless but the dentist reassured me that it isn't. It's more about the experience of getting them comfortable at the dentist and having positive experiences so that they are not scared as an adult. Has your little one had their first dentist visit yet? - Jodie x