How Parents Can Prepare for Children's Dental Visits
Dental health for anyone starts at a very early age- sooner than parents may think. Taking your child to see your dentist is very important. Starting a dental routine at a young age helps them to become comfortable, not only with the idea of going to the dentist but with their teeth in general. Parents should give their child guidance and encourage them to start brushing early to make it a permanent habit.
When Should Your Child First Visit the Dentist?
We recommend scheduling your child’s first dental visit with us at the age of one, or within six months after the first tooth appears. One’s primary, or baby teeth typically begin coming in around 6 months of age. These teeth are important because not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a pathway that permanent teeth can follow in the future. It is not necessary to use toothpaste right away. Children under the age of three can simply use water and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth. After the age of three when your child starts using toothpaste, a pea size amount will suffice.
After the first initial dental visit, we recommend dental visits every six months thereafter. That is why it is important to choose a dentist you are comfortable with to make those visits a little easier.
Your Child’s Dental Health is Important to Us
Here are a couple tips to help your child brush their teeth:
- Skip the toothpaste-before the age of 3 - start with just water and guide them while brushing.
- Use sound! We find that kids like sound effects and are willing to participate more to start good habits.
- Keep it very short. When a child is first starting to brush their teeth, keep it short and sweet. All you need is just a quick brush through to get them introduced to the idea and then you can gradually increase the time spent brushing.
- Play "copycat". If your child sees you brushing your teeth, they will want to do it too. Engage with your child and consider this bonding time.
- Help your child finish brushing their teeth. It is okay to have them start brushing by themselves, but always try to help them end, catching spots they may have missed.
What Time Should I Schedule My Child’s Dental Visit?
We recommend scheduling your child’s dental visit in the morning. We find the child is more alert and is willing to interact with the dentist. It is okay if the child is energetic. We can use that energy towards the appointment to have them more involved in what the dentist is doing. Mornings are also great because the child is not tired yet, as they would be around nap time.
The best thing that a parent can do is encourage their child about how easy the visit will be and how great they will do. Use positive words like, “tickle your teeth”, “tooth pictures” or “sugar bugs”. We have great skills in talking kids through procedures during their dental visit without having to go into details that can upset them.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at (402) 644-3177 or visit our website online at FamilyFirstDental.com!
Posted on: Friday, May 19, 2017
Last modified on: Thursday, June 8, 2017