Child’s first dental visit
Child’s first dental visit is one of the most important factors that determines the child’s attitude to dental health/encounters with dental professionals. Frequently, this attitude extends to adult life. A bad initial experience may turn into a long-lasting aversion, while a positive encounter is likely to extrapolate over all of childhood and adult life, subsequently leading to a beautiful, healthy smile.
Children love smiling. And the healthier their teeth are, the more beautiful that smile is. This is why our professionals who specialise in young patient’s dentistry are very passionate about young teeth’s health.
Thus, at SORDYL STOMATOLOGIA we put a particular emphasis on the quality of the first dental encounter. We want it to be a positive experience, not a reason to avoid dental practitioners in the future. We appreciate that many young patients initially fear the encounter with the dentist. This is mainly because they do not fully appreciate why the treatment is necessary. Too frequently, children visit the dentist only when it is already too late and they have advanced dental caries foci in their oral cavity. Interestingly, this is often because the parents propagate their own fears and potential negative encounters during their own childhood to the offspring. This is why at SORDYL STOMATOLOGIA, our aim is to eliminate any fears/unpleasant connotations already during the first dental visit. We also remind the parents that modern dentistry is very different to that practiced when they were children themselves and that SORDYL STOMATOLOGIA will put the very best effort, so that the child enjoys the interaction with our dental team.
Child at the dentist – professional attitude and cooperation with the parents are key
During the first dental visit, we get to know the child. But also the child gets to know our team, our dental clinic and the equipment used during dental treatments. The dentists eagerly answers all the questions posed by the child, allows the child to inspect the instruments and check how they work. A pleasant and relaxed atmosphere during this „introduction to dentistry” stage allows the child to appreciate that dental visits may be interesting encounters, full of new experiences.
Additionally, the first dental visit is also an opportunity to show to our little patients how to take care of their teeth and how important frequent toothbrushing is. Habits acquired in childhood are likely to reflect on teeth’s health throughout the entire adult life.
Dental caries becomes increasingly prevalent among children. Even 80% of Polish children aged 6 to 12 have diagnosed carious defects. It is worrying that dental caries is also being identified in half of 3 year olds. In fact, the state of our dentition affects the health of the entire body. This is because the presence of disease-causing bacteria increases the risk of heart diseases and metabolic disorders. The dental caries epidemic among Polish children is largely the consequence of a diet rich in sugars. According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), the child should not be consuming refined sugars at all during the first two years of life. In our clinical practice we observe that many children aged 5 and above have never attended a dental check-up before. Unfortunately not many parents are aware of the fact that until 8 years of age it should be the parent who is brushing the child’s teeth and they should do so using a toothpaste containing the correct amount of fluorine. It is important to remember that correct toothbrushing is almost as difficult and manually challenging as learning how to write. The teeth should be cleaned twice daily – in the morning and just before bedtime. The latter is particularly important, as sugars remaining on the teeth for longer than 45 minutes undergo fermentation, which leads to dissolution of tooth’s enamel. When we are asleep, only very little saliva is secreted – our salivary glands are also „asleep”, so the saliva cannot buffer the dietary acids. The two most important lessons we can pass onto our children is to drink plenty of clear water and to perform frequent toothbrushing from the very moment when the first milk tooth erupts. It is also recommended that the first dental appointment should be scheduled soon after the first milk tooth erupts.