Creating a trusting relationship with the dentist takes time and effort, but below are some of the things we believe to be the most helpful in creating and maintaining positive experiences so your child doesn’t have to be fearful.
Establishing a good relationship with the dentist while your child is young is one of the best things you can do to start their relationship off on the right foot and prevent bigger dental issues down the road. We agree with the AAPD recommendation of seeing patients for the first time at the eruption of the first tooth or around one year old whichever comes first.
Utilize A Pediatric Dentist
Seeing a dentist who specializes in pediatric care can be an invaluable tool to you as the parent. This title means they are a child mouth specialist. They have received training beyond that of a general dental degree to better help them communicate with and treat children of all ages. Additionally, the overall environment is tailored to children in a way that makes dental visits more fun and less clinical.
Eliminate Risk Factors For Cavities
Children who avoid getting cavities and therefore do not need more involved dental procedures are far less likely to develop dental fear. With this said, avoiding sticky snacks, limiting refined carbohydrates, and scheduling no more than 2 snack times a day are always to reduce your child’s risk of getting cavities. There are many other ways to avoid cavities which your pediatric dentist can discuss with you in person during your next visit.
Ensure Their Teeth Are Getting Level of Fluoride They Need:
Fluoride in appropriate dosage helps to give children their best chance at being cavity free. Using an age-appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water is a wonderful way to keep both existing and developing teeth healthy and strong. In fact, children who drink fluoridated water at adequate levels while their teeth are forming are 60-70% less likely to have cavities as an adult. That’s a benefit that lasts a lifetime.
Watch Programs or Read Books to Your Child:
Some books the parents at our practice have recommended are from “Daniel Tiger” and “Mr. Rogers.” Watch beforehand to select which you think might be most appropriate for your child.
If your child is over a year old, and they are visiting the dentist for the first time, role-play can be a creative and wonderful way to help set them at ease and understand what to anticipate. Start a few days before; having them practice laying down while you brush their teeth and then switching it up; where you lay down and let them “be the dentist.”
Create A Good Home-Care Regimen
Establishing good routine with brushing and flossing at home is an extremely important part oral health care and can make a huge difference in the success of their visit. The more familiar your child is with having their teeth cleaned, the more comfortable they will be at the dentist.
If you have questions about how to implement a good home-care regimen, contact us! We’re happy to help you create healthy habbits.