By: Chrissy Abel , Dental Assistant
Most adults who are afraid of the dentist more often than not had a bad childhood experience at some point in time. Here at Cascades Center for Dental Health, we make it a priority to give our “little patients” the best experience they can get! We know how important positive experiences at the dentist are, especially at a young age, so we strive to provide those to patient’s of all ages to build the groundwork for years of healthy dental care. Around the age of three, we recommend that you schedule your son or daughter for their first appointment, which we call a “happy visit.” This appointment is a time for your child to get comfortable in the dental chair and see what we use to make their teeth look as shiny as their favorite super hero or princess! A few exciting things to expect at your child’s first dental visit are:
- A ride in the dental chair!
- Awesome sunglasses so “the sunshine” doesn’t shine in their eyes!
- Introduction to “Mr. Thirsty” (the suction)
- Introduction to “The Hose” and “Blow-Dryer” (air and water)
- Introduction to ” The Tooth Tickler” (the polishing cup)
- A visit to the treasure chest to get a cool prize for being such a big boy/girl!
At your child’s first visit, their comfort is our very first priority and their involvement is highly encouraged and recommended. The more interested they become in their dental care, the better chances they have of having better oral hygiene! Our Hygienists will have them do things like pick out their own toothpaste and fluoride flavors, hold a mirror while we count their teeth, and talk about foods and drinks that are both good and bad for our teeth. Of course, if at ANY time your child becomes uncomfortable or scared, we will immediately discontinue the appointment and resume at a later date when they are more ready. After all, the goal of a “happy visit” is to make your child comfortable in the dental chair, give them some basic dental education, and most importantly make it fun so that they return for many years to come!
Good home care will help your child stay on the right path with their dental hygiene, and there are many things that you can do to help this along. As early as the age of 1 you can begin cleaning your child’s teeth by using a soft washcloth with warm water. This will help get rid of any bacteria that has built up on your child’s gum tissue and teeth. By the age of 2 you can begin using a soft toothbrush and a pea size amount of toothpaste. Please keep in mind that it is very important to supervise this process, as you don’t want your child to swallow any of the extra paste! By the age of 3 most children will be able to manage the “spit and swish” action, but again this process should still be supervised until it is mastered.
The team at Cascades Center for Dental Health is always available to address any questions or concerns you might have in regards to your child’s oral health. We look forward to seeing you at your child’s first “Happy Visit” !