Bringing Your Child to the Dentist
Everyone wants a well-behaved child. Just the thought of our little one squirming in a dental chair in a quiet and dignified dentist’s office may make some of us want to put off our kids’ dental exam for as long as possible. But is it a healthy decision to make? If you ask most parents, they know better than to prolong the dental maintenance process. After all, we make sure they get appropriate nutrition and we make sure they brush their teeth. Still, the there may be some temptation to wait.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should actually have their initial dental check-up after their first tooth appears or no later than their first birthday. What? Our squirmy baby needs to see the dentist, really? Yes! It is extremely important to your child’s teeth that they get a routine for dental care set very early in life. A check-up is recommended every six months.
Your child’s baby teeth need as fervently attention as their adult teeth later in life. Baby teeth set the path that the adult teeth will follow through the gums. Also, baby teeth help your child to learn to speak clearly as well as to efficiently chew their food.
The sooner your child goes to the dentist, the more calm and comfortable they will be in the dental chair as they begin to grow older. If you have waited to take your child to the dentist and now find it difficult to help your children remain calm, there are a few tricks that you can try to put them more at ease.
Find a Dentist Trained to Deal with Children:
Many families go to a general family dentist but when it comes to very small children, usually one size does not fit all. Dentists who have committed part of their training to pediatric dentistry know how to handle your children’s dental care AND put him/her at ease. Their practice is designed to cater to the needs of children, including gaining their trust and confidence.
Prepare Your Child:
It is always a great idea to prepare your child for their first visit. Make the idea a positive in your child’s mind. Remember that children pick up on their parent’s behaviors and attitudes. If you like your dentist, it will give your child an added sense of peace and confidence. Tell your child how important it is to keep our teeth and gums healthy. You can also print off dentist game printables on line to help make the whole experience fun! Remember to try and keep the whole thing simple. Too much attention on the up and coming appointment may cause your child to become apprehensive.
Let your child bring a toy or object at home that will help to soothe them while in the dental chair. Dental offices can be scary to young children that do not know what is going on or what is about to happen. Their favorite stuffed toy or doll, may help to calm them down. You can even ask the dentist to give the toy a dental check-up as well. Most dentists will to help ease the child, and in so doing, the child can watch the “exam” to gain knowledge of what is about to happen to them.
There are several other tricks that you can employ to help your child maintain his composure while at the dental office. You know your child and what will work the best. Dental care is highly important the earliest that you can start. If you haven’t taken your older child yet, it is not too late to start right away. Your child’s health is in your hands as well as the ultimate health of their teeth and gums. The best care is preventative care for you AND your children.