When Should I Start Taking My Kids To The Dentist?
Thanks to Grange Family Dental for this article.
A recent Australia Dental Association survey* showed that the most commonly asked question by our patients is “When do my kids need to come and see the dentist?”.
In short, the “official” answer from that survey was approximately 2 years old, or when all baby teeth have come through. In my humble opinion, that is a slightly simplistic answer. We will attempt to explain why at Grange Family Dental we recommend that you bring your kids in as early as you are comfortable with it, and what they will get out of meeting the dentist at this very early stage of their life.
Getting children used to going to the Dentist
If your child’s very first dental visit is just to “meet the dentist”, then realistically, 2 years old is just fine to do that. But what if your child’s first dental visit is due to an emergency? As parents, we know how unpredictable our little ones can be and if they had a knock in the playground or by the pool and chipped their front tooth (believe me, this happens a lot), do you really want their first dental visit to be a traumatic one? How likely is your child going to let a complete stranger that they have never met to treat them and get them out of pain?
Emergency dental procedures for children
Unfortunately, this scenario happens far too often for our liking and regularly with kids where their first visit is due to a dental emergency, it’s nearly impossible to get any cooperation from them. Quite often the child ends up needing emergency general anaesthesia just to be able to assess and repair a chipped front tooth. Additionally, even with private health cover, general anaesthesia will still cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Not to mention the likelihood of getting a quick appointment on a GA waiting list is very minimal.
Your child’s first dental appointment
This is why at Grange Family Dental, we actively encourage our parents to start bringing their little ones into our surgery when they come for their own check-ups. We will generally then organise an extra bit of time after the parent’s appointment to meet the kids at no additional cost.
By doing this from an early age, we hope to achieve two things –
- The first thing we hope to achieve by bringing your child into a relaxed environment before any treatment is required is to introduce them to a place where there are lots of toys, games and an iPad to keep them occupied. By doing this, they will start to associate the dental surgery with nothing but just fun and toys. This means when they do need to come for their own dental visit, they will at least be looking forward to showing up at the surgery.
- Secondly, kids take cues from their parents extremely well. By allowing them to see their parents or siblings acting totally relaxed during their dental visits, this will automatically tell them there is nothing to be afraid of. If this is done right, we will often get the little one crawling into the dental chair on their own straight after mummy’s appointment and ready for their turn.
This sort of approach will setup your children for a life time of simple preventive dental care.
Bulk billing family dentist in Brisbane
Above all, at Grange Family Dental, we bulk bill dentistry services for all kids with private health cover under the age of 10 years old for all preventative care. We also bulk bill all kids who are eligible for the government Medicare dental scheme (CDBS).
So if you feel this is a good way to introduce your little one to their first dental visit, then contact your dentist today and ask for your kids to get a “ride in the chair” as part of your next dental visit.
Grange Family Dental are open 6 days a week, with emergencies guaranteed an appointment within 24 hours, usually on the same day. They are open late and on Saturdays to cater for after school and work visits.