A PARENT’S GUIDE TO GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR CHILDREN’S DENTIST APPOINTMENTS
Updated: May 2
As a parent, you want your children to have bright, healthy smiles for the rest of their lives. That is why you are keen to monitor their brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
While you know oral care is essential at home, so is visiting your family dentist at least twice per year. A dentist can make sure the techniques used at home are being done efficiently, but also identify dental issues early on before they become bigger problems.
Most importantly, you want your child’s experiences with their dentist to be positive ones, which ensures they establish a healthy relationship with their dental professional.
FIRST: PICK THE RIGHT FAMILY DENTIST
Ideally, you want a family dental clinic that can take everyone so that you are not going to multiple providers for annual check-ups. Secondly, you want a provider that has dentists experienced and comfortable with children. The first visit can be an intimidating one – whether your child goes around their first birthday or waits a little longer. Therefore, you want a dental team that makes the experience a positive one. That includes not forcing them into the chair, keeping calm, making trips to the dentist fun, and easing them into the process.
During your child’s first visit, they might do nothing more than sit in the dentist’s chair, and that is it. Even if they refuse to let the dentist look inside their mouth, praise them for sitting there and wait until the next visit to try pushing forward. Forcing them to sit in the chair or let a stranger look inside their mouth can create negative memories.
TIPS FOR MAKING DENTAL VISITS FOR YOUR CHILDREN FUN AND HAPPY
So, how do you make a trip to the dentist one your child remembers in a positive light? Here are a few suggestions:
Bring Them Along Even When It Is Not Their Turn: Whether it is for yourself or older children, bring your toddler with you so that they are exposed to the dental clinic, staff, and how the process works. They may watch an older sibling have their check-up and cleaning, but by associating it with something everyone else in the family does, they are more apt to do so themselves later.
Bring Them Early: Your child should be seen by their second birthday or when they get their first tooth. Again, this is an easing in process, which means even if they must sit on your lap and just smile at the dentist, you are progressing forward in a good way.
Prepare Them at Home Too: Have discussions about the dentist, find children’s books about first trips to the dentist, and let them know what to expect.
Bring a Favourite Toy: One way to make the process less stressful is to bring along a toy or a favourite distraction for your child. You can even read their favourite book to them while the dentist checks their teeth.
BOOK YOUR CHILDREN’S APPOINTMENT AT OUR EDMONTON DENTAL CLINIC TODAY
The team at Northtown Dental Associates understands how stressful it can be to not only find a dentist but encourage young children to go. We strive to make every experience in our office positive. Our team will work alongside you to help your child ease into the process and promote positive oral habits that will benefit them for years to come.