What is the best age for your child’s first dental visit?

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The Australian Dental Association recommends that your child attend their first dental visit and check up at 12 months of age.

By this age the eruption of your child’s first teeth has occurred. During your child’s first visit to Dent8 Dental we will assess the alignment of your child’s teeth and jaws, examine the teeth for any signs of dental decay and discuss brushing and diet with you.

The examination is performed in a playful manner so that the child is not even aware that they are being examined. An extremely important part of modern dentistry is prevention. This is so important in avoiding unnecessary distress and discomfort for the child. Another aim of the first appointment is to allow your child to become familiar with the environment and to ensure that they have a positive and happy experience. This makes it less likely that they will develop unnecessary anxiety about coming to the dentist. Much of the time during this consultation will be spent letting your child become comfortable in the dental chair and with the dentist looking in their mouth. In the past, in the era of less child-friendly dentistry, a child’s first experience of the dentist involved painful tooth ache requiring immediate treatment. A visit to the dentist such as this can be a stressful prospect for the whole family and is best avoided. It can also make it more difficult to treat the child at subsequent visits.

Dent8 Dental is a family friendly practice. There is an airy sunlit waiting room with toys and a television especially for young families. This room is close by, but separate, from the main waiting area so that your children can enjoy themselves without you having to worry about disturbing the other patients. One of the surgeries has been specially decorated to suit our ‘smaller patients’, this gives them something familiar and fun to look at during their visit.

At 12 months we certainly don’t expect your child to jump into the chair on their own, lie back and open wide. In most cases we have the young ones sit on their mum or dad’s lap, wear some cool sunnies and ‘roar like a lion’ so we can have a good look at their teeth.

At Dent8 Dental we understand that some children, no matter what their age, find the prospect of the dentist intimidating. With three young children myself I understand this and we take it very slow and always show them what we are going to do before we do it. Children don’t like surprises, well not at the dentist anyway!!