Most children do not look forward to the prospect of a visit to the family dentist for a check-up. So how difficult is it going to be if the child has a toothache or has already been given the news that a cavity needs to be repaired?
There are a couple of ways to make this a little easier for your reluctant child.
Starting around the age of twelve months, take your child for their first dental visit. Regular, early visits allow your child to become familiar with the sights, sounds, and smells of the dental office. Familiarity may provide some security for your child.
As your child grows, there are several preventative measures you can take that your family dentist can provide including:
Dental sealants – As permanent teeth begin to emerge, having them treated with dental sealants will prevent decay from forming. Sealants are painted on the chewing surfaces of molar teeth. The sealant is designed to permeate the pits that naturally form on teeth blocking bacteria from penetrating dental enamel.
Fluoride treatments – Although the drinking water in most communities contains fluoride, if the child does not drink tap water, in-office fluoride treatments can provide added strength to dental enamel.
Fluoride rinses and tooth pastes – Fluoridated products are readily available over the counter. Discuss with your family dentist which ones are ideally suited to your child’s situation.
Brushing – Even if your child puts up resistance about brushing twice daily, this is a battle you must win. Lifelong brushing and flossing will be rewarded with healthier teeth and gums.
Monitor sugary snacks and beverages – A reward system is a great motivator for many children to complete tasks; however, candy, soda and cookies are not to be part of the bargain. A trip to the park or zoo, a favorite book, or coveted video game are much better rewards than snacks.
Get creative and make a game out of upcoming adventures such as a visit to our dentist. Never refer to “pain”, use threats, or scare tactics.
Being a great role model and allowing your child to watch you perform your daily oral hygiene regimen may provide the motivation your reluctant child needs to do what is needed to keep their teeth and gums brushed and healthy. Example makes a great teacher.
Contact our office to schedule an appointment for you or your child today!