Tips for Parents
As a parent, there are many things you can do to prepare your child for his or her first dental visit and start your child on long-term dental health.
- Be positive. There have been many improvements in dentistry that makes it much more pleasant than when you were younger.
- If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, try not to share it with your children. Don't share any previous bad experiences.
- Don't make the dental visit a big deal. Keep it simple. Mention that they will have pictures of their teeth taken, their teeth counted and cleaned and a surprise prize at the end of the visit.
- The dental staff is trained to make your child comfortable. We will use special words, pictures, and show and tell to explain procedures.
- Talk to your kids about good oral hygiene. Explain that going to the dentist is something we do for our overall health.
- Set a good example by brushing and flossing with your kids. Let them brush and floss your teeth and you brush and floss theirs. Make it fun.
- If it is a struggle to get your kids to brush and floss, please don't threaten them about "getting a shot" or needing to have a tooth pulled. Instead, teach them why a healthy mouth is important to their overall health. Tell them they need teeth to chew food which provides the rest of their body with the nutrition they need.
- You can also check out books at the library to help teach your kids about the importance of their dental health.
- If there are any concerns, let us know ahead of time so we can make proper arrangements for a happy dental visit for your child.
Some tidbits about your child's dental care:
- Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. You should begin brushing and flossing your child's teeth as soon as they come in.
- Let your child brush with your supervision until he or she can brush alone, usually around age seven.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and buy a new child-size toothbrush every few months.
- When your child's permanent molars come in, have the dentist apply sealants to protect the biting surfaces from decay.
- Allow your child to chew only sugarless gum and avoid lollipops and other sticky candy.
- If your child plays contact sports, make sure he or she wears a mouthguard.