Taking your little ones to the dentist should start from a very early age. In fact, once the first tooth erupts, usually around one year of age, you should get your child to the dentist for their first cleaning. This will set up a lifetime of good oral hygiene that will hopefully result in a cavity-free smile. However, getting your kid to the dentist isn’t always easy. Here are some tips on getting your child to the dentist with no issue, along with some reasons why it’s important to do so.
Signs Your Child Needs to Go to the Dentist
According to Cashion Dental (www.cashiondental.com), you may think you can get away with putting off the dentist for a few years, but there are clear signs that you should take your kids to the dentist as early as possible. If not, problems could crop up such as sensitivity to hot or cold, puffy or bleeding gums, tooth pain, difficulty chewing or swallowing, family history of gum disease or cavities, and persistent bad breath. It’s best to make an appointment when the first tooth pops up. This way, you can instill a trust for the dentist from a very early age.
Importance of Regular Checkups
Regular dental visits are vital for children, once every six months, because the dentist can more readily spot oral health problems early on, says the American Dental Association. In addition, treatment is simpler and more affordable when problems are prevented in the first place. Whether your child has symptoms of dental problems or not, they should still see a dentist regularly for oral health diagnosis and treatment. According to Cashion Dental (www.cashiondental.com), the key is continuity of care, which develops a baseline of your oral health history and keeps the dentist and hygienist informed of what’s going on. Cavities can be treated early so they don’t lead to the need for root canals, for example. During a six-month visit, the dentist can go over your child’s recent medical history, give them an examination, administer x-rays if needed, and develop a treatment plan. Oral cancers can be detected easily if your child keeps up with regular dental visits, and cavities can be avoided or caught quickly.
What to Look For
When deciding on the right office for your child, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. First, research the background of each dentist. Visit the office. Is it clean, inviting, and kid-friendly? Are staff members accommodating? Can you easily get an appointment that’s convenient to your schedule? Do they have off-hours or emergency lines? Does the office take your insurance?
Getting Your Child to the Dentist
No parent likes to drag their child to the dentist. So how can you achieve this feat with minimal fuss? Parents.com says the earlier you take your child to the dentist, the better, to instill an atmosphere of trust. For older children who have a fear of the dentist, prepare for the visit by explaining exactly what will go on, backed by a positive attitude on your part. Don’t give them false hope, but don’t use negative words like “shots”, “drill”, or “pain.” Instead, use words like “sugar bugs” for cavities, and powerful, positive words like “clean, healthy teeth” when describing the need for the dentist.
By making your child aware that they have to see the dentist twice a year with no exceptions, and by using positive tones and encouragement, you will help make the entire experience easier for them.