Getting Kids Ready for Their First Check-Up
Not everyone can relax at the dentist, and kids are no exception. Some adults get incredibly anxious about visiting their friendly neighbourhood dentist, so it should come as no surprise that children can, too. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! Taking your kids to their first trips to the dentist can be an incredibly positive experience that will set them up for excellent oral health for the rest of their lives.
Sound like a big goal? It is, but it can be accomplished with a few simple steps:
Most dentists recommend bringing your child to the dentist before their first birthday, even if they don’t have teeth yet. Some dentists suggest waiting until the first tooth shows up—in any case, consult with your dentist beforehand. When it is time to bring the kids, remember that fear is product of experience and attitude, so smile and make sure your children are happy and relaxed throughout. It’s important to set an example early so the memories will stick with them for years to come. Speaking of setting an example:
Set an Example
Parents are role models for their kids, and children pick up on attitudes and anxieties. If you’re worried about going to the dentist, chances are your kids will learn that behaviour, too. Even if you’re okay with the dentist, it’s best to keep your language positive and to answer any questions as honestly as possible. Remember, your words are powerful conditioning tools! After visiting your local dentist, encourage your child by telling them how great they were or how grown up they acted.
Let Experts Take the Lead
Children ask questions. When it comes to dentistry, though, you’re not going to have all the answers. Let the professionals take the lead; after all, they’re the experts. Sometimes it’s best let your dentist or dental assistant answer the questions to help avoid an unpleasant experience. Let the dental professionals explain any and all procedures, as they’ve got the expertise and can easily simplify it for children.
Try Sedation Dentistry
If your children simply won’t calm down, sedation dentistry is an option. Sedation dentistry keeps patients conscious and present but helps them let go of their anxiety and relax. Sedation dentistry is safe and always monitored by trained professionals. Before opting for sedation dentistry, have a conversation with your dentist to determine if it’s the best option for your children.
Start Good Habits Early
Finally, it can’t be overstated that ongoing education and getting your kids invested in their own oral health will go a long way. Instill these attitudes early, and get your kids into the habit of brushing and flossing regularly. Once your kids are invested in their own healthy teeth, they’ll be ready in the event of a more complicated or involved procedure, and have a good attitude for every future appointment.
Kids need to visit the dentist just as much as you do. It can be daunting, especially if they’re apprehensive, but by setting a good attitude and getting them to do their homework, they’ll set good habits that will last them for years to come. And their smiles will stay with them, too!