Childhood is an important developmental time on all levels. A child’s oral health impacts on both their physical and emotional well-being. It is therefore essential that children regularly see a dentist. Here are some answers to the questions parents commonly ask the dentist.
At what age should my child first see the dentist?
As soon as possible. Even a 2 year old can benefit from a trip to the family dentist with mum or dad. Although they may not be able to cooperate for a checkup just yet, by watching an older sibling or parent in the chair, children learn that the dentist is not a person to be scared of and they will quickly develop confidence.
What if my child needs fillings or an extraction?
It is often more difficult for the parent than for the child. Initial visits to the dentist for young children usually don’t involve invasive treatment.
Rather, the first visit is the time to look, talk, play, win trust and plan for the future.
What can I do to help my child prepare for dental treatment?
Prepare the child for the appointment by talking to them about their expectations and any concerns or fears they might have. Be honest with your child and explain there may be some small discomfort for a short period of time but everything will be done to make sure they are comfortable.
Remember to use positive language and be conscious not to pass on any anxieties of your own. If the child has an older sibling who has been to the dentist, reassurance from them can help. For very young children, role playing with toys can be useful e.g. showing teddy having his teeth cleaned and checked. Promising the child a reward for the dental visit if they behave isn’t a good idea as it can create the impression there is something to fear. On the day of the visit, make sure your child has had some food and been to the toilet before they come into the clinic.
What is the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) is a government funded scheme that provides benefits up to $700 per child over 2 years. This benefit is available to children aged between 2 and 17 years and includes dental services such as examinations, X-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions.
For more information on eligibility please visit: