Your child’s first visit with the pediatric dentist should occur at twelve months of age. At that time, you should follow the schedule for subsequent visits as recommended by your dentist. Children that see their dentist regularly starting at a very early age generally do not fear going to the dentist as they have become familiar and comfortable with the sights, sounds, and smells of their dental office.
If your child’s first experience at the dentist is due to a problem like a cavity or broken tooth, that first association with the dentist is likely to involve fear or pain. Subsequent dental visits are going to be very difficult. Starting early and gaining confidence in regularly scheduled dental visits is not only easier on the child, but you are doing what’s best to protect their teeth.
Even office familiarity may not be sufficient to calm a child for dental visits; sedation dentistry for children may be recommended. When talking about sedation for your child, safety is paramount in the mind of the parents. Sedation dentistry is very safe. You know your child better than anyone so you need to understand what is involved so you can explain to your child what to expect during their dental office visit.
Sometimes a combination of two methods is employed to treat a child; nitrous oxide will relax the child into a mild state of euphoria followed by a local anesthetic that numbs the area to be treated. Nitrous oxide is often used first as the instrumentation used to administer the local can be intimidating.
Other procedures may require sleep sedation. Whatever type of sedation is used, the child needs to feel safe and secure. If the parents are nervous, this will likely make the child feel the same. For a young child bringing a favorite toy or security blanket is often helpful. A parent might be asked to stay in the room to assure a frightened child while they undergo sedation and be there when they awaken.
Your pediatric dentist spent additional years of training to administer excellent care for your child’s dental health. Trust and follow the advice given especially in the area of daily oral hygiene for your child’s teeth and gums; and make sure your child sees the dentist as suggested for those much needed dental check-ups. Call our friendly team at Whittington Pediatric Dentistry today.