First pedodontic visit
We usually go to the dentist for the first time when a problem has already arisen, such as tooth decay, toothache, or trauma. There is nothing more wrong that doing this.
The child will be forced to sit still in the chair to undergo treatment when he is already in a situation of pain and discomfort.
The ideal would be to book a simple checkup with the pedodontist (children's dentist) from the age of 5 in order to make the dentist a familiar figure for the child.
In this way, during future visits, the child will recognize the environment and the staff of the dental office and will have a positive memory.
How does the first visit take place?
The first visit is essential to diagnose dental problems (caries, alterations in the formation of the enamel, presence of excess or defective teeth, malpositions, inclusions); intercept alterations of the craniofacial development (malocclusions); identify the presence of bad habits (sucking the pacifier or finger, interposition of the tongue during swallowing, oral breathing); check the child's ability to maintain proper oral hygiene, and investigate the type of nutrition of the child.
During the session, the medical and dental history of the child will be collected with the parents, an objective examination of the oral cavity and gum tissues will be performed, the presence of all milk teeth will be checked, as will the level of oral hygiene. Instructions for correct oral hygiene will then be given, giving the child a toothbrush and showing him the correct maneuvers with the mirror, there will be in-depth studies on any bad habits present and advice will be given for following a correct diet. If the child has caries problems also related to improper nutrition, we will discuss their dietary habits. We will recommend reducing sugars to protect their teeth and we will evaluate the possibility of adding fluoride supplements to the diet.
From the orthodontic point of view at this age we mainly look for: any obstacles or problems with milk teeth that could prevent the correct eruption of permanent teeth and we already identify all the main occlusal problems - such as crossbite or open bite, tendency for overcrowding and more.
What to tell the child before going to the dental office?
All children have a curious nature. As soon as the date of the check-up is communicated, the little patient will surely have some questions that must be answered. This is an important moment in which we must avoid creating unnecessary anxieties and fears in the child by using inappropriate language and which emphasizes negative aspects of dental care.
It will therefore be good to avoid phrases such as "don't worry, it won't hurt you" or "you have to stay still." These exhortations will give them a feeling of restlessness that will turn into fear once they gets to the clinic.
Expressions, however, such as "tomorrow there is a visit to the dentist so we can show him how strong and healthy your teeth are," will help them to stay calm.
What to do in the waiting room?
Bringing your child's favorite book or toy will put your little one at ease, distracting them, at the same time, from the classic atmosphere of tension associated with this place.
Being with the child during the dental visit, yes or no?
The advice is to make sure that the parents are present only during the child's first visit, and then leave them in the care of the medical staff in the following visits. The dentist will then reassure the child by explaining everything that happens in advance and asking for their help during the visit.
Dr. Veronica Bracchetti has been doing this for almost 30 years. Many of the children whose dental health she has looked after have become parents today and they bring their children to her while still sporting their beautiful smiles. This is one of the greatest satisfactions of her job.
How often should the checkup be carried out?
It depends on the age and trade-in phase the child is in. Usually between 5 and 7-8 years every 6 months, if there are oral hygiene problems or high carioreceptivity every 4 months.
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