If your kids enjoy seeing the dentist, bringing them is a breeze! Conversely, if they dread dental visits, getting them to the office is “like pulling teeth.” In that case, ensuring their oral health will be tough. In turn, missed exams raise the risk of dental problems, possibly causing pain and a higher cost of care.
This post will help you avoid such troubles. Here are ways to prime your kids for a lifetime of gorgeous smiles.
1. Acquaint Your Child With a Dentist Early.
Do you have a baby? If so, when their first tooth emerges, that’s your cue to book their initial dental exam. In most infants, primary teeth surface between 4 and 7 months of age. Schedule the first check-up within six months of seeing their first pearly white. At the latest, bring them to the dentist by age 1, after which cavities can form. If your child meets the dentist as an infant, they’ll likely be curious rather than scared.
Avoid scheduling the first exam when your child typically naps. Otherwise, they’ll be too groggy to cooperate with the dental staff. Instead, pick a time when they’ll be alert, following a light meal. Also, make the appointment with a pediatric dentist, as someone who is experienced with child dental care will probably know how to work with your child better.
2. Explain What To Expect.
One way to prepare your child is by talking with your child and explain what will go on with a dentist. This will obviously work better for toddlers and older children. You also want to consider role playing with them to help them understand what usually goes on during a dental visit. Talk with them about the different tools that a dentist will use in order to help your child feel more comfortable around the dentist.
3. Schedule Exams With a Family Dentist.
Finding a family dentist who is experienced in working with children can be a great benefit to your dental visits. Ensure that all the staff members are warm and welcoming, helping kids feel at ease. A family dentist can be nice because they can become a familiar face in your child’s life. Having a consistent dentist from the time they are child to when they get into middle and high school can help ease any potential anxiety that they may have around dental visits.
4. Set a great example for your children.
Finally, make sure that your child sees you go to the dentist early and often. Let them know that you aren’t afraid of the dentist and that you trust them. One way to do this is to schedule the whole family’s dental cleanings at the same time. While this will mean that kids will have to wait for a bit for their appointments, they get the benefit of seeing you doing the same things that they will be doing at their visit. This also gives them time to get comfortable with the atmosphere of a dental office and potentially even become acquainted with the dental staff on hand.
While many kids may experience some anxiety around dental visits, there are many ways to help. Make sure to get your child familiar with a dentist early, explain to them what to expect when they are visiting the dentist, and take them to a trustworthy family dentist. These things will help your child build a positive relationship with the dentist and ensure their dental health for years to come.