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Ways to prevent dental phobias in children; the benefits of introducing your child to a dentist in Harley Street

If you have children, you as their parents are responsible for making sure their teeth are well looked after. This includes teaching them how to brush, how much toothpaste to use, talking to them about sugary foods and making sure they consume enough calcium.

Since they were born, you have taken your child to the doctor to make sure they are developing well and to get preventive treatments like vaccinations.  Unfortunately, too many parents forget that taking your child to visit the dentist early in life is just as important as doctors’ visits. Ideally, you should start taking your child for dental check-ups when they are about 12 months old, just when their teeth have started to come through.

Early dental visits

While it may seem a little young, it is worth noting that many young children under the age of 4 years suffer from cavities- as many as 25% of all children under 4 have had at least one cavity, meaning these will need treatment as early as possible to prevent further decay.

Also, early exposure to dentists is beneficial for your child later in life. If problems are dealt with earlier, your child is less likely to be afraid of dentists in the future, meaning they will not suffer from severe dental issues in their teenage and adult years.

Similarly, it will make dentist trips routine in your child’s mind, basically, they will become aware that dental hygiene is just as important as other aspects of health. They will, therefore, be more likely to look after their teeth to a higher standard than children who have missed out on early dental check-ups.

Their first appointment

When you take your child for their first dental check-up, try to use positive language and to reassure them if they become scared. This is all new to them and it is understandable if they are apprehensive.

Luckily, their first dental visit, provided they are around 12 months of age, will be an easy one. You will be asked about your child’s medical history and if they have any illnesses and the dental professional will show you how to brush your child’s teeth. If your child has teeth in their mouth they may even be able to have them cleaned in the surgery, by a hygienist. Your child may even get a free toothbrush!

Choosing the right dentists

There are many dentists that specialise in paediatric dentistry. It is important to locate a dentist specialising in this area, as children are at risk from different dental issues to adults. Be aware that your child may not like the first dentist you take them to. This can make them fearful of future dental appointments. We advise you to try meeting multiple dentists, until they find one they like and feel safe with. This will prevent them from developing a phobia or an aversion to dental professionals.