As the twins have turned two, I thought it was time to get a dentist appointment booked. Little did I know that dentists now recommend that children should see a dentist for the first time by their first birthday. Apparently, the purpose of the age 1 dental visit is to learn about your child’s oral health and how to best care for your child’s unique needs before any problems occur. Oops – now I know!
For all small children, the first dental visit can be a scary proposition. Strange instruments, loud noises, and new faces can upset any 2-year-old so it is important you find the right dentist, and your own isn’t always the right one, as I found out!
Our first experience to the dentist wasn’t the best, and I was far from impressed. If I knew what I know now, I would have done more research. I am not good with the dentist myself so I really hoped that this was going to be a good experience for them. We entered the dentist all chirpy and I spoke to the girls were we were and who we were going to see. As we got invited into the room by the nurse, the dentist herself hardly said hello to the girls. She told me to sit on the chair with one of the girls before coming at them from behind with blue hands and forcing them in their mouths – we had both girls in tears – I did manage to get Poppy smile at the end! The dentist was probably trying to do it quickly but I was expecting their first trip to be a gentle introduction and fun for them.
How to Approach the First Trip to the Dentist with your Child
- Read Stories
Before your visit read stories to your children. There are plenty of story books out there focused around trips to the dentist. This will explain what happens at the dentist and will start to prepare your child for their first visit.
- Role Play
Use teddies and dolls to reenact going to the dentist. Ask them to sit in the chair, open their mouth, ask them questions about brushing their teeth. Act out all things dentists do.
- Ask for Help
If you are taking more than one child to the dentist for the first time, try and ask another adult to come with you. It has been suggested to take one child in at a time so that all of the attention can be on the child with the dentist. The child may need one to one attention.
- Take Something Familiar
Bring a favourite toy, blanket or other familiar object. This will help your child to know that the dentist is a comfortable and safe place.
To save time and make the first visit easier, ask the dentist to mail you all the forms you will need to fill out. These are fairly long and with two little ones running around, it can be difficult.
- Don’t Panic
Your child may fuss during parts or all of the dental visit. However, parents may be surprised at how accepting infants can be when the dentist examines them. They may enjoy the attention and novelty of the visit.
Looking after your Teeth
Having expected/hoped to get some guidance on teeth brushing from the dentist, and didn’t, I started some research of my own. My girls happily take the toothbrush and suck off the toothpaste, but it’s not really what I call ‘brushing their teeth’. I came by a company called Brush-Baby and decided to ask for some advice. How can I make teeth brushing more effective? How can I make teeth brushing more fun? Brush Baby were more than happy to help.
Why Brush Baby Teeth?
Even new baby teeth get covered with plaque. By cleaning them it will remove it and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We forget that gums also need to be kept clean particularly during teething.
How do I clean gums and baby teeth?
- Make it fun – sing and laugh
- Use an Baby Sonic Electric Toothbrush from Brush Baby. They sell the perfect brushes for tiny mouths. They come with two sizes of heads, one for under 2’s and one for when they are over 2. When the girls were first introduced to the brush, they were intrigued by the buzzing but it didn’t put them off, in fact, they loved it! One of the key features which I think if fab is that it lights up when you turn it on, and after two minutes, it turns off so that the children know when the time is up.
- Model it with them
- Brush teeth using a fluoride toothpaste from when the first tooth appears.
- Try to sit your baby up to clean their teeth.
- Use a sticker chart for ‘good brushing’. Brush baby have free charts you can use, and you can buy special stickers from them too.
- Use a Brush-Baby DentalWipe or Brush-Baby’s new ‘FirstBrush’ to gently clean your baby’s first, tiny teeth and massage gums.
- As your baby get more teeth we recommend mums (and dads!) brush their toddlers teeth with a toothbrush and toddlers use the Brush-Baby Chewable Toothbrush themselves, it’s designed to help clean teeth and gums as it is chewed and acts like a teether – all in one!
- Make sure you use the correct toothpaste for your toddler’s age.
- Children and babies have a habit of swallowing toothpaste so only use a tiny bit of toothpaste
Who are Brush–Baby?
Brush-Baby was inspired by the inventors little girl who chewed her toothbrush.
Her sister is a dentist so she is well aware how important it is to keep baby’s gums and teeth clean. But tooth-brushing time could be a real battle! He daughter would chew her toothbrush, if she could get it into her mouth at all. When she went to the shops, there was little available to help. Brush-Baby was founded!
Brush-Baby designed a range of products especially for babies, toddlers and young children that takes into account their tooth development, habits and brushing skills.
Here are some of their products;
To visit Brush-Baby, please click here.
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** The products from Bush Baby were gifted to us for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are Popithas.