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Your Child's First Visit to NDCS

Your child’s first visit with us

Many parents are anxious because they do not know what to expect and how their child will behave. Here is what you can do to make your child’s visit as pleasant as possible:

  • When making the appointment, inform the dental staff of your child’s age, medical problems or special needs.
  • Bring along any long term medication and medical information pertaining to your child.
  • Avoid scheduling appointments during your child’s nap time
  • Bring along your child’s toothbrush
  • One parent must accompany the child on his first visit. Only parents can give legal consent to dental treatment for minors.


What to expect on the first visit

Parents should accompany their child on the first visit. You can expect the following:

  • We will ask a few questions about your child’s medical and dental history, as well as dietary and oral hygiene practices. The more we know about your child, the better we can help.
  • The dentist will cue you on where to sit and how to hold your child during the examination.
  • You should remain silent while the dentist talks to your child as multiple instructions may confuse your child.
  • After examination, the dentist will inform you of your child’s dental issues, discuss treatment options, and give you some tips on caring for your child’s teeth.
  • You are encouraged to ask questions if you are uncertain. We will give you time to consider your options or even seek a second opinion.


Preparing your child for his/her first visit

At the first visit, the dentist will usually acclimatize your child to procedures such as examination using a mouth mirror, and maybe even tooth cleaning. (For children under 2 years old, please click here.)

Dos

  • You can prepare your child for this by reading children’s books or watching videos on visiting the dentist.
  • For older children, you can have them accompany you when you see your dentist, so that you can role model appropriate behaviours.


Don’ts

  • Do not bribe your child in going to the dentist or use the dental visit as a punishment.
  • Do not pre-empt your child about the dental treatment (e.g. an extraction, injection)
  • Avoid communicating your own dental fears to your child. It is unwise to portray dental experiences and dental personnel in a negative light as it may affect your child’s behaviour at the dental office. 


At what age should my child first see a dentist?

Ideally, it is best to take your child to the dentist when he/she is between 6 to 12 months of age. This allows the dentist to:

  • Anticipate and prevent problems rather than treat them
  • Assess your child's risk for tooth decay (dental caries) and tailor a preventive programme for your child
  • Evaluate adverse habits and customize a treatment plan
  • Train and acclimatise your child to a dental setting 

The Infant Oral Health Clinic at NDCS provides these services within its preventive programme for your child. 


Why should I take my child to a dentist? The baby teeth are going to fall out anyway.

Your child's first set of teeth, the primary teeth, are extremely important. Strong, healthy primary teeth help your child to chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and look good. Also, your child's general health can be affected if decayed primary teeth are not treated early. Primary teeth also hold the spaces for permanent teeth to erupt into good positions.

To ensure that your child’s first dental visit is a pleasant one, you should bring him/ her to a dentist before dental problems develop.


How often should my child see the dentist?

Regular dental visits can save time, money and your child's teeth. It is generally recommended that children visit the dentist every six months. However, there is no set rule since each child has different dental needs. Your dentist can advise you on the most appropriate recall interval for your child.