It is estimated that approximately 16% of adults suffer from dentophobia. What is that ? The fear of going to the dentist of course! But that’s no reason not to take your child there. So, we make an appointment …
At what age should you take your child to the dentist?
The first baby teeth, the incisors, appear, on average around the age of six months. But, they can pierce, in some babies, a little earlier, around the age of 4 months, or a little later, around eight or nine months, sometimes only at the age of one year!
“The first visit to the dentist must take place at the age of one year, advises Dr. Christophe Lequart, dental surgeon. And, in any case, before the age of two, because the child is not yet in the ‘age of no’, the consultation turns out to be easier! ”
How to prepare your child for the first visit to the dentist?
A child is often afraid of what he does not know, hence the importance of doing everything to ensure that the first visit goes as well as possible. And it’s not complicated, for that you have to explain it to him. There are plenty of ideas to do it. Here they are !
Books about the dentist
Today, children’s books cover all subjects, and in particular that of the visit to the dentist. Among the various albums intended for children, we find:
• Dora at the dentist who introduces the child to the dental office and offers a surprise at the end of the book (ed. Albin Michel).
© Albin Michel
• Peppa goes to the dentist : Peppa does not go there alone. She is accompanied by George and Mister Dinosaur. All three will go and check that their teeth are in good condition. But if Peppa is not afraid to open her mouth wide to be examined, George is less confident (ed. Hachette).
• The Monsieur Madame go to the dentist : there is Monsieur Chatouille who makes guili-guili, Madame Canaille farces, so that Madame Email is not bored (ed. Hachette Jeunesse).
• Lola goes to the dentist : after discovering a brown stain on a tooth, Lola’s mother takes her to the dentist. Lola will discover the dental office, the good gestures to take care of her teeth… (ed. Piccolia).
• Cromignon is afraid of the dentist : the story of a little crocodile not very reassured about having to go to the dentist for the first time. But Monsieur Dent Blanche will explain everything to him (ed. Des petits livres irresistibles).
• I am going to the dentist : a guide that explains who the dentist is, why you have to go see him, how he examines and treats children’s teeth (association Sparadrap).
• Peppa Pig at the dentist : it’s doctor elephant who examines Peppa’s teeth and congratulates her on having beautiful teeth. Her daddy explains that it’s because she cares about him. But when it’s George’s turn, he doesn’t feel like it. Even if he keeps his dinosaur blanket. So Peppa guides him and tells him to open his mouth wide. And it’s done ! A cartoon less than a minute to watch before your dentist appointment.
• Caillou at the dentist : because Léo, Caillou’s boyfriend, tells him that his brother had pain at the dentist, Caillou no longer wants to go and hides under his bed. His mom reassures him and explains to him that the dentist is just going to look at his teeth, clean them. Finally, the dentist is very funny and cleans his teeth with a brush that makes noise. Caillou thinks it tickles. He is very happy to leave with a small gift (a toothbrush) and very proud to no longer be afraid of the dentist. A short 3-minute story to watch.
• Little angel at the dentist : today, baby is going to the dentist ‘it’s time to go to the dentist, I will explain to you, don’t be afraid, I will explain to you, he will look at your teeth, I promise everything will go well. I am the dentist, I am very nice, I look at your teeth, I do it very slowly, come do not be afraid and everything will be fine. For your healthy teeth, you come to visit me… to listen before the appointment.
What is the purpose of the first visit to the dentist?
“This is an opportunity to detect food hygiene problems, such as bottle-feeding syndrome, as early as possible, to remind people of the rules of good dental hygiene, to give advice,” explains Dr. Lequart.
It is also the occasion to check the correct growth of the jaws, the position of the tongue, possible chewing problems…
How is the first visit going?
This first visit is important because it is the basis of a good future oral hygiene and maintaining healthy teeth.
Should you choose a dentist or a pediatric dentist ? The second, in addition to his generalist training, added a pediatric specialization.
How to install the child in the dentist’s seat?
There are two possibilities :
“You can sit the child on the edge of the chair so that you can look at his mouth with the mirror,” explains the dental surgeon. More comfortable and reassuring for the child, “we can suggest that the parent sit on the seat and lay their child on it. ”
The discovery of dental instruments
Dental operating mirror, probes, forceps, turbines, water still… The dental clinic is a real “established” for the teeth! The instruments, never seen before by the child can impress him. This is why, during the first visit, “the child must be given a lot of explanations, give him the dental mirror in his hand so that he can handle it, explain to him what we are going to do to him and just make him open his mouth, ”explains Dr Lequart. This first meeting is really a discovery, so do not rush the child so that he agrees to come back next year!
How long does the first visit last?
In a child so young, there is generally no care to be carried out. “It’s about screening and instituting prevention,” says Dr. Lequart. Therefore, this first visit is quick. It lasts on average 15 minutes. ”
What if my child is afraid of the dentist?
Adults who are afraid of the dentist can transmit their fear to their child. So there are some things to know.
Mistakes to avoid
“Beware of unfortunate words said by parents,” warns the dentist.
What are they ? We can remember a few not to say: ‘I prefer it to be him rather than me’, ‘don’t worry he won’t do anything to you’: the problem with this sentence is that if the dentist has to realize care for the child, the latter will feel betrayed, ‘he is not going to pull your teeth out!’ … “Also avoid talking too much about the different instruments”, adds the dental surgeon.
Which can reassure him
- Let him take his blankie prefer.
- Give it a little book talking about the dentist. He will thus find in the dental office, what he sees in his book.
- Make him listen to your favorite music during the visit.
- Getting your mouth examined before that of the child so that he can see how it goes.
- Settle next to him (without disturbing the dentist) and hold his hand.
How to explain the importance of the dentist to a child?
Quite simply ! By explaining to him that by going regularly to the dentist, it will allow him to keep one beautiful smile, to have strong teeth which will allow him to eat well to grow up, to speak correctly to be understood and to be able to learn to read.
We can make a comparison between the doctor who takes care of his body and treats it when it is sick in order to then regain strength, the dentist is ‘the friend of his teeth’.
Children’s dentist: how much does it cost?
The conventional health insurance rates on January 1, 2021 are as follows:
- Simple oral prevention exam: 30 euros.
- Examination with one or two x-rays: 42 euros.
- Treatment of a one-sided cavity: 27.60 euros.
- Extraction of a baby tooth: 25 euros.
The reimbursements for the child’s dental care are 70% supported.