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Preparing your child for their first trip to the dentist

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Many parents may think that there is no need to take their child to the dentist until they start school. However, this is not the case and dental care should start long before this. Most dentists advise parents to take their child for their first check-up at the age of twelve months.

Preparing for a check-up

A little preparation can make a huge difference to your child when going to the dentist. Try to promote going to the dentist as a fun thing to do and do not let your child detect that you are nervous or anxious about seeing the dentist. Try to be very positive when talking to your child even if you, as a parent, suffer from dental anxiety; your child will notice if you seem tense or anxious and this will affect them.

Talk your child through what is going to happen when they go to the dentist; it is also helpful to read stories about going to the dentist with your child. If your child is a little emotional and tense, sit with them and reassure them constantly. You will find that your dentist and the staff at the dental practice will make every effort to interact with your child and make their experience a positive one.

Oral health for children

It is really beneficial to introduce your child to their dentist early on. Taking them for regular check-ups will get them used to going to the dentists and this will help to prevent them from suffering from dental anxiety when they are older, as well as reducing the risk of them developing oral health problems.

Try to encourage your child to adopt a healthy attitude towards oral health from an early age; encourage them to get involved in oral hygiene, set a good example for them to follow and keep an eye on what they eat and drink. Talk to your child about healthy eating and the effects of drinking and eating sugary foods and drinks on the teeth.

If you are having trouble persuading your child to clean their teeth, try to make teeth cleaning fun by making up games, setting challenges and buying oral hygiene products which are specially designed for children. Many toothbrushes are decorated with bright colours and pictures of popular cartoon and film characters which are more attractive for children.

Preparing your child for their first trip to the dentist

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