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A visit to the dentist is a real challenge for both the child and the parents. It doesn't have to be a nightmare. All you need to do is start the dental checkup early enough and prepare your child properly for a visit to the dentist.

The child's first visit to the dentistwill decide about their relationship with this specialist throughout their adult life. Injury can cause her to avoid it like fire. These problems will not arise if you make friends with the dentist early enough. It is worth planning the first visit to the dentist when nothing bad is happening - there is no visible caries and the tooth does not hurt. Then the child will easily get used to the doctor and will not react with hysteria when drilling and sealing the tooth will be needed …

How to prepare your child for a dentist appointment

First of all, you must not transfer your negative feelings to the child's psyche. Do not say in his presence that you are afraid of the dentist, that, for example, you have been in a lot of pain lately. The child must not be frightened either. Statements such as, "If you don't clean the teeth or eat the cheese, your teeth will break and we'll go to the dentist," will make your child fear a doctor. Before you go to the dentist, explain to your child where you are going and why. If your child is afraid of a doctor, use the term "lord" ("lady"). Tell me what your visit will look like. That you will have to sit on a special chair, that you will shine the "sun" (lamp) to see the teeth well. If the child is small, you can fictionalize the story using fairy-tale characters and phrases appropriate to his age.

When it's time for the first dentist appointment

You should go to the dentist when your child is six months old (this is when the first incisors appear). The doctor will check that the teething process has started and is proceeding properly, and that the baby is not at risk of tooth decay. It will tell you how to clean the gums and teeth, what to pay attention to in order to prevent decay and to keep the teeth growing strong and he althy. It is a good idea to have a checkup every 3 months to make sure that there is nothing wrong with your baby's mouth.

You must do it
  • Clean your baby's gums before the first teeth appear. The best is a gauze pad, lignin wound around the finger or a special cleaner placed on the finger, soaked in boiled water.
  • Start using your toothbrush as soon as possible. Then the baby quicklywill develop a habit of brushing your teeth. Choose 2 brushes adapted to the child's age (for the youngest they are marked with the symbol "0-2"). One will be used by the child to play and chew on (he will get used to the object), the other will be used to clean his teeth. You can also use an electric toothbrush with a tip designed for children. Experts argue that they are more effective than traditional ones.
  • Use toothpaste for children. There are fluoride toothpastes that you can use to clean the first milk milk - your baby can swallow it safely. They are colorful and have a fruity flavor which encourages children to wash. Choose a toothpaste appropriate for the age of the child (toothpastes marked 0-2 years for the youngest, 2-6 years for medium-sized children).
  • Brush your teeth after each meal. Necessarily after dinner (bacteria have the best chance at night) and after each sweet meal. Give your baby water or tea without sugar at night to drink.
  • Remember to regularly fluoridate your teeth. The procedure consists in covering the healed and washed teeth with fluoride varnish. In young patients, it should be repeated every 3 months. The cost of the procedure is PLN 30-80, depending on the facility.
  • Start teaching your child to brush their teeth as early as possible. Remember, however, that it should only use the brush under adult supervision so as not to hurt itself with it.

Milk teeth under control

You absolutely have to visit the dentist when your child has all milk teeth, i.e. is 3-4 years old. The doctor will assess whether all teeth developed properly, whether the child has a good bite (this has an impact on the proper eruption of permanent teeth) and whether caries has started. Do not delay the visit when there is any change on the tooth - a dull tooth-colored spot or a dark hole. This is a sign that the acids formed under the influence of bacteria in the mouth have destroyed the enamel, got inside the tooth and penetrate the dentin. If the tooth is not secured, the caries will go deep into the pulp. Milk teeth require treatment and this should not be underestimated. They are of a different structure than the permanent ones, therefore caries develops very quickly in them. It moves from one tooth to another in no time, and also attacks protruding permanent teeth. Sometimes it leads to purulent complications that end in tooth extraction. And getting rid of the milk milk too early can cause a malocclusion.

A good dentist is half the battle

It could be someone recommended by friends. But it is worth verifying their opinion by arranging a short interview with your doctor. In addition to professional skills, he should have good contact with young patients. That's why it's best that it should beis a pediatric dentist - a dentist dealing with children. It is difficult to find such a specialist in public offices, but it is worth trying to find one. An experienced pediatrician is able to distract a child. He will quickly and painlessly check the teeth and perform the necessary treatments. Private offices and clinics where children are treated are equipped so that the youngest feel good in them. Already in the waiting room, there are colorful pictures with fairy-tale characters hanging on the walls. There is a play area with crayons, blocks and puzzles. When a child is busy playing, he forgets where he is and does not think in suspense about what will be. Pastel colors, friendly to the child's eye, also dominate in the office. Colorful walls and an armchair, toys, pictures make the child feel safe.

On the dental chair

A child up to 3 years old usually sits on the mother's or guardian's lap and both of them are facing the doctor. But in some surgeries, a different position is used. The doctor's seat is behind the child's head, who sits on her lap facing mom, and her back rests on the doctor's lap. Thanks to this, the child has eye contact with the mother, but does not see the dentist. Sometimes younger children are happy to sit on the armchair alone, while the older ones, who are closely related to their mother, do not want to part with her. If your child prefers you to stay in the office, you can always accompany him. Try to control your emotions then, so that your overprotection does not make it difficult for the doctor to contact the child.

What does a visit to the dentist of a little patient look like

During the first visit, the doctor tries to tame the child with the surgery and gain the child's trust. It shows various instruments, tells what they are for. She invites you to open her mouth and examines her teeth quickly. A few-year-old can play with a dental mirror to inspect the doll's teeth during this time. A soft rubber toy is also a good method - a toddler, by crushing it in his hands, relieves tension. If the doctor finds a cavity in the tooth that may "wait" until the next appointment, he makes another appointment with the child. He explains exactly to the child what he will be doing. In order for the child to trust the dentist and the mother, he / she must not undergo any treatment without prior notice. It is also not allowed to deceive the child and say that the doctor will only look into the mouth if we know that he will be drilling a tooth. If the child is very small and cannot yet cooperate with the doctor, damaged teeth are recorded, i.e. impregnated with chemical compounds. This procedure usually takes less than sealing. A dark discoloration is formed at the lapis site, but the carious process is inhibited. The procedure must be repeated during subsequent visits. When the baby is thereolder, the teeth can be cleaned and sealed. In offices specializing in treating children, colorful, phosphorescent and glitter fillings are used as an incentive. Your child can help with their selection and preparation. As a result, it is more willing to consent to drilling and endures it better. Before drilling, the doctor will anaesthetize the mucosa with a special gel and inject them with a needle as thin as a hair. A child focused on the dentist's stories or on the toy will not feel the prickle (the doctor does not mention the injection, only says that he is giving the liquid). Usually, a triangle-shaped silicone insert is inserted into the mouth to prevent the mouth from closing. Children very quickly find out that it is a good idea and do not protest, because thanks to it they do not get tired, keeping their mouths open. A visit to the dentist's office should not last longer than 15 minutes, and the procedures in the mouth should not last longer than 5-15 minutes, because the child will not sit still. After leaving the office, try to give your child a pleasant surprise (e.g. a small gift).

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