Your child’s first visit to the dentist

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From the moment those little baby teeth come in, you have to take good care of them! And among other things, that means trips to the dentist. Sometimes parents are hesitant to take their children for dental checkups, perhaps because of anxiety from their own childhood dental experiences. But going to the dentist doesn’t need to be a worrying time for you or your child.

We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.

First visit to the dentist

Children should have their first dental check-up at one to two years of age.

How long do baby teeth last?

  • The front baby teeth will last until the age of five to seven years.
  • The back molars have to last until about 12 years of age. Dentists may advise having a protective coating, or fissure sealant, applied to the molars at around seven years.

What the dentist will look for

  • The number of baby teeth and their spacing and placement.
  • How effectively teeth are being cleaned.
  • Any changes in colour, or spotting of teeth, signifying early decay. About 20 per cent of children have a type of decay called ‘nursing caries’, often related to dietary and feeding habits, particularly the use of a night time bottle.

Choosing a dentist

Routine checkups can be carried out by your usual family dentist. It helps if they get on well with kids, and know how to make them feel at home in the surgery. Look for a dentist that has a good kids’ corner in the waiting room! There are also paediatric dentists, who are specially trained in looking after children’s teeth, and in handling children in a positive way. You may prefer to attend the paediatric dental section of your local children’s hospital.

Your attitude can help

Be relaxed with your children when talking about the dentist. Be careful not to use any negative words, and be sure not to pass on any feelings of fear or anxiety that you may have. Your positive attitude can help a lot. After all, going to the dentist these days shouldn’t be a frightening experience.

This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.

(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)

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