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FIRST VISIT

YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DENTIST VISIT

Your child’s first visit to the dentist should take place about six months after the first teeth appear. Ideally, a young child should visit the dentist at least once before the age of two.

During this first visit, the dentist and hygienist will work to establish trust with your child and perform a dental exam and cleaning. They will also take the opportunity to teach you proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Nearly 50% of patients fear dental visits. To avoid passing your own insecurity onto your child, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. You can also prepare your child by carefully explaining what the first appointment will involve. As a parent, your involvement is essential at all times: before, during, and after the visit.

Above all, don’t hesitate to consult a dental professional if you suspect any abnormalities in your child’s mouth. The recommendation to visit the dentist before age two aims to detect potential issues early.
This is where the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” becomes particularly relevant.

image of a child smilling in the patient chair at the dental clinic alain cyr in boucherville
dad reading a book to his child abotu the first visit to the dentist

BEFORE THE FIRST VISIT

  • To help a child prepare for their first dentist visit, there are several charming and comforting books available. These include “At the Dentist” by Paule Battault and Anouk Ricard, which gently approaches the topic, as well as “T’choupi at the Dentist” by Thierry Courtin, perfect for the little ones. These books are designed to familiarize the child with the dental environment in a playful and soothing way.
  • Explain the steps of the dental visit to your child: “First, we’ll show you the special chair where you’ll sit. Then, the dentist will look at your teeth with a small light to make sure they’re healthy. They’ll clean them with a soft brush that tickles a bit.”
  • Avoid assuring your child that they won’t feel any discomfort or pain during the exam or cleaning. It’s important to be honest while reassuring them that the dentist will take good care of them and do their best to make the experience comfortable.
Child sitting in the patient chair with a dental hygienist and a dentist.

DURING THE VISIT

  • During your child’s first dental visit, the accompanying adult may be asked to sit with the child on their lap for reassurance. For older children, they might be encouraged to experience the visit alone after the initial contact.
  • Listen carefully to the dentist’s advice and maintain a positive attitude.
  • It’s recommended to schedule dental visits every six months for regular monitoring of your child’s oral health.
Small child brushing their teeth with their father, which is important after a visit to the dentist

AFTER THE FIRST VISIT

  • Make sure your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day and uses dental floss each night before bed.
  • Monitor their diet by avoiding acidic, sticky, and sugary foods.
  • It’s important to maintain this brushing routine until at least the age of 10.
little baby looking at a toothbrush and learning how to take care of her dental health after a visit to the dental clinic

CHILDREN

Oral hygiene for children under 2 years old

Did you know that a baby’s primary teeth are fully formed at birth? Baby teeth are simply hidden beneath the gums until they emerge. Generally, they begin to erupt around six months old and finish around three years old. Of course, having healthy teeth starts with healthy gums. That’s why parents should follow certain oral hygiene practices with their infant.

From birth until around six months old, gently wipe the baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding. This helps remove the sticky film (plaque) that forms and can damage the teeth. When the teeth begin to appear, you can clean them using a soft-bristled toothbrush. The amount of toothpaste should be limited to the size of a grain of rice. Although it may not be easy, it’s important to try to get your child to spit it out after brushing.

It is recommended that the child’s first dentist visit take place about six months after the first tooth has emerged or around their first birthday. Subsequent check-ups should be scheduled every 6 months, or according to your dentist’s recommendations.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Tips for dental hygiene in children with braces

Teaching good dental hygiene to children, especially those wearing braces, is crucial. It requires particular attention from parents to maintain the child’s oral health and prevent issues related to orthodontic appliances.

Braces don’t directly cause tooth decay, but they can trap food particles, creating an environment conducive to the formation of cavities and gum disease. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain strict dental hygiene to prevent the buildup of bacteria around the appliances.

For children with braces, whether fixed or removable, careful brushing after every meal is essential. Brushing for about two minutes is ideal, and using a song or timer can be a fun way to help your child maintain this routine consistently.

an image of a child with orthodontic braces
A little girl holding in her hand an orthodontic dental applicance

Instruments and Techniques for Brushing with Braces

The choice of toothbrush and brushing technique is crucial for those with orthodontic appliances. It is recommended to use a toothbrush with a short, narrow head and a curved handle for easier grip. Opt for soft bristles to protect the gums. Replace the toothbrush every three months, as wear and tear is faster with orthodontic appliances.

For effective dental hygiene, it is important to brush all areas of the teeth, whether wearing braces or not. Brushing should be done from the gum line to the end of the tooth. Using dental floss before brushing is essential, and cleaning the tongue helps remove food particles. The choice of toothpaste may vary, but your dentist can recommend an option that suits your specific needs.

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