Kids Corner

Introduction & Information

Information for kids and parents

For parents

Parents play an important role in making the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. This info will help you to prepare your child for their first visit.

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What Does the Dentist Do?

The dentist is a doctor who has trained specially to care for people's teeth. When you go to the dentist for a checkup, they will check for any problems by looking carefully at your teeth and gums. The dentist will also make sure that your teeth are developing properly as you grow.
Visit your dentist every 6 months to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy, and that you're looking after your teeth properly.

What Happens at the Dentist's Office?

If you've arrived a little early, you will stay in the waiting room until you're called to see the dentist. You'll go into a special examination room and sit down in a big, comfortable recliner chair. The chair has a place to rest your head and loads of room for you to stretch your legs. Next to the chair there is a tiny basin with a cup to rinse out your mouth when the dentist tells you to.

One of the first people you'll meet at the dentist is the dental hygienist.

The dental hygienist will clean and polish your teeth; first, the hygienist will brush your teeth with a special toothbrush and toothpaste. Then, the dental hygienist will floss your teeth and show you the proper way to brush and floss your teeth at home.
You might also have x-rays and flouride treatment.

The dentist will look carefully at your teeth and gums to make sure they're strong and healthy. The dentist will also check the way your top and bottom teeth work together. This is called your bite. If your bite is not quite right, you may be referred to an orthodontist. The dentist will study your X-rays (checking for cavities or other problems) and ask if you have any questions about your teeth.

Dental Words

Some words your dentist uses might be new to you. Here are a few special dental words and what they mean:

  • bacteria — (say: bak-TER-ee-uh) tiny organisms that live on your teeth and are found in plaque
  • cavity — (say: KAH-vuh-tee) the decayed, or rotten, part of a tooth
  • dental hygienist — (say: hi-JEE-nist) a person with special training about the proper way to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy
  • dental X-rays — pictures of your teeth and gums that will show a dentist whether there are any cavities
  • flossing — no, its not a dance move! This involves using a piece of waxy string called dental floss to get in between your teeth and remove food particles that your toothbrush can't reach
  • fluoride treatment — (say: FLOOR-ide) a gel or foam applied to teeth that makes them strong and helps prevent cavities
  • orthodontist — (say: or-tho-DON-tist) a doctor who specializes in correcting the shape or positions of your teeth
  • plaque — (say: plak) a thin, sticky layer containing bacteria that grow on your teeth

What Happens If You Have a Cavity?

If you have a cavity, the dentist may ask you to come back for another visit so that there is enough time to work on your tooth. At that time, the dentist will remove the decayed part of your tooth with special equipment. Then the decayed area will be filled in to keep your tooth strong and healthy. The filling will look just like the rest of your tooth, so you won't see it when its done.
Before working on your tooth, the dentist will give you a tiny shot of an anaesthetic (say: ah-nus-THEH-tik), a medicine that makes the area around the tooth go to sleep.
Your mouth may feel funny for a little while after you leave the dentist's office, but the anaesthetic will soon wear off and you'll be able to have a snack right away.