A top dentist has revealed the best ways to prepare kids for their first appointment. Dr Azad Eyrumlu of Kent-based Banning Dental Group has given some tips and advice for parents to keep their children calm on their first visit to the dentist.
Even older, it can be difficult to shake the nerves of visiting the dentist, and for children in particular, it can be a very daunting idea. But, like many other aspects of life, you just have to do it.
There are few things as important in your daily routine as good oral hygiene. Maintaining good tooth cleanliness is a surefire way to protect against a number of potential future problems, such as gum disease and preventing cavities.
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Dr. Eyrumlu thinks children should start seeing the dentist as soon as baby teeth start to grow. To prepare the youngest for their first visit to the dentist, Dr. Eryumlu has plenty of useful tips.
He says, “When a baby tooth appears, it’s the perfect time to schedule an appointment and start getting a child used to the sights and smells of a dental office. It may even be that during the first appointments, the child becomes familiar with the waiting room.
In my practice we have a small play area and toys for the younger ones in this space. It is good to show from the start that a dental office is not a scary place to be afraid of.
He also indicated that bringing a favorite toy or blanket will help the child relax. He said: “Arriving well before the appointment means the parent is more relaxed which also helps the child feel more at ease.
“The child will sit on his parents’ lap while we feel around the mouth. This is to get the child used to having his gums and teeth touched. We are very aware that some people can be nervous when visiting a dentist. It is for this reason that we try to make the experience as fun as possible for all the little patients who visit us.
“Hopefully by being really positive and having fun, it won’t be a scary place in the future. Kids pick up habits from their parents, along with anxiety and fear. We recommend sometimes very anxious parents to possibly allow another family member to bring the child for the first date, and we also remind parents not to project their bad experiences from the past onto their children.
It’s also important to start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as baby teeth appear, as he goes on to explain, “Make sure the toothpaste is age-appropriate and only use a very small drop. Parents should start by brushing their child’s teeth.
“As your child grows, let them hold the toothbrush and experiment with how it feels. You may find it helpful to let your child practice on a stuffed animal to make it more fun. It is likely that parents will still need to give teeth a bit of a brush to ensure they are properly cleaned.”
More information about dental hygiene and the work of their company can be found on the Banning Dental Group website here.