How can I find the best kids dental clinic in Singapore for my child?Paediatric Dentistry Dental Children’s Health
Hi I would like to find a kids/toddler dental clinic for my 3 year old girl for an overall dental check up. I would prefer a clinic that specializes in kids dentistry. What are some things that I should look out for?
I am so glad to hear that you are planning to start your daughter’s dental journey early! Early dental visits really pave the way for building good dental habits for your child which will benefit her all lifelong.
It does not sound like you have any major dental concerns for her so I thought I’d leave you with some tips that may come in handy as you make plans for your daughter’s first dental visit.
One of the most common questions my parents ask me is this: what if my child cries. That may be on your mind as well — I’ll try to address this below.
Finding a dentist for your child
I see that you are keen to see a paediatric dentist (dentist who specialises in children’s dentistry ). That is a good place to start because as a paediatric dentist, I can safely say we are a jolly bunch so tears are not common here.
Besides making sure our clinics are child-friendly and inviting, we often have toys and TV screens to entertain our little patients and set them at ease.
Paediatric dentists are also quick to adapt to your child’s comfort level and are managed differently. Some kids are ready to jump on the dental chair immediately, while others tend to be more wary of something new. Things that appear simple to us may be really challenging for children as young as your daughter. For example, from her perspective, sitting on the dental chair alone can be quite frightening. So instead, I always invite them to sit on mummy’s or daddy’s lap! Getting a cuddle on mummy’s lap soothes them right away!
However, different paediatric dentists have different management styles. For example, some talk lots like me! I love chatting with my little patients and finding out more about them. In my experience, I find that gets them more relaxed and they are more comfortable when they see me as a friend. Plus, it’s really fun to hear what they have to say! Thus, do not feel rushed to settle with the first paediatric dentist you meet. It is more important to take time to find one whose style suits both you and your child because you’re going to see him/her for a really long time!
Getting your child prepared for the visit
Lots have been written about preparing a child by reading books and watching videos about going to the dentist so I shall not go into those at length.
The logistics of the 1st visit is something that is often overlooked. For example, some kids come when they are unwell, after a long day from school or just before nap/ meal time. Try to avoid these moments when children are not feeling their best and likely to be tired or cranky! Picking the best part of the day where she is keen to explore and have fun will help her enjoy that first visit more! Although I must admit it is not always easy to get an early appointment with a paediatric dentist, it is better to delay the visit slightly, get an appointment at a timing suitable for your child (unless there are urgent issues to be addressed) and come when she is feeling her best.
I also suggest to parents who contact me prior to their first visit to bring along their child’s toothbrush and toothpaste. I find most kids are more open to having a familiar toothbrush in their mouth than a shiny cold dental mirror — and as I brush their teeth, that’s when I check them too! You can also get her ready for this by letting her pretend to be her soft toys’ dentist at home!
In the end, the best advice I have for parents is to just sit back and breathe. Often, parents are more anxious about the visit than our little patients and this energy is quickly picked up by our children! So, keep calm and breathe and let your paediatric dentist do the rest! Hope this gives you some insight to the first dental visit. Good luck!