There are many people who have a fear of going to a dentist, usually due to painful treatments or hating the whining sound of the drill. Often, one’s first visit to a dentist was at a time when one experienced a toothache which, in itself, was painful; and this was then followed by having to have an injection and hearing the drill for the first time. It is also difficult for small children to sit still for long periods of time, to keep their mouths open for an extended time and to bear the awful taste of some of the preparations used by dentists.

It is for all of the above reasons that children should be taken to a dentist as soon as the first tooth appears. The appointment will be short and no treatment will be done, so that child will not be scared in any way. A good tip in this respect is to choose a dentist who only treats children, or one who is happy to treat all members of a family. These dentists will have diversions and attractions in their surgeries to amuse babies and children, so that they will associate the dentist with having fun, rather than being an unpleasant place to visit.

At this juncture, it is important to note that the parent who takes the child to the dentist should not display any signs of apprehension or of being scared, as such negative feelings will be transferred to the child.

Babies should be taken to the dentist every six months, just like adults, for a check up and to ensure that the teeth are erupting as they should. Few children have dental problems at a very young age, so this routine check up will only enforce the feelings of enjoyment and calm the child will experience during each visit, thus ensuring that there will be no fear in later life.

As your baby grows into a child, the dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen the teeth, if there is not enough of this substance in the water in the area where you live. This is not a painful treatment, as the fluoride gel is put into special trays which are then inserted in the child’s mouth, so that the gel comes into contact with all the surfaces of the teeth.

All through your child’s growth period the dentist will check for any abnormalities in the bite, to ensure that the teeth erupt exactly where they should. If they do not, problems with chewing (and thus digestion), or speech difficulties (when the teeth are misaligned and cause a lisp) may occur. Clearly, the gums and teeth will also always be inspected to ensure that there is no caries or gingival disease. If either of these two conditions is found, they will be at their earliest stages, therefore ensuring that the treatment will be minimal and will not cause too much pain. This, again, will enforce the child’s belief that a visit to the dentist is nothing to be scared about.