Your First Dental Visit
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care”
Many people have phobia regarding the first dental visit. It’s usually during 3-4 years when the first dental visit is planned. The main reason for visiting a dentist at that age is:
- Looking for tooth buds, if they are in proper alignment or not.
- Any caries as the children are more attracted towards chocolates and candies that make their teeth prone to caries.
- Any oral habits like thumb sucking, teeth grinding etc.
Things to take care during first dental visit
- Make sure you reach half an hour early to complete all the formalities like filling of forms, premedication. Also call your dentist before you leave the home.
- Don’t panic as first dental visit be either counseling or making you/your child aware of the dental instruments and procedures that you will be worked upon.
- Just talk to your dentist regarding any doubts as clarification initially can clear many myths and help you better understand the things.
- Do inform your dentist regarding your medical history and the medication you are currently taking. Though the disease you might be suffering is unrelated to dentistry but the dental procedure can have an impact on that. For e.g. diabetic patient are at higher side of developing periodontal/gum diseases. Also there are few medications that can cause dry mouth and in that case, you become more sensitive to carious attacks.
First dental visit procedures
- During your first dental visit, a general examination of head and neck region, salivary glands and lymph nodes is done.
- Dentist will look for any abnormal changes in your soft tissues like lips, cheeks, vestibule etc.
- Full mouth examination is done to look for any caries or periodontal diseases.
- Tooth alignment is checked to look for any malocclusion.
- At last X-ray might be done to look for any abnormalities that can’t be seen through naked eye. E.g. impacted teeth, root caries, any bone loss etc.
Your child’s first dental visit
Now the visit becomes more troublesome if person visiting the dentist for the first time is a child. Both from parents’ point of view and dentists’ point of view, this visit is of special concern.
If you are a parent, than do keep in mind the below points to be discussed with your dentist:
- Oral habits like thumb/lip sucking tongue thrusting nail biting, night grinding etc.
- Any teething habits.
- Nutrition that your child is following.
- Any behavior that you think is not normal.
If you are a dentist, you should take care of the below point:
- In the first visit, don’t immediately start the procedure.
- Make the patient comfortable by involving him/her in friendly talks.
- Introduce him to the instruments by merely showing and if possible given them the name of patient’s favorite cartoon characters (Remember children have great imagination).
- Only painless procedures like routine cleaning/pxs and minor excavation should be done.