Whether your child still has their baby teeth or has most of their adult teeth, it’s important that they maintain a healthy dental routine. They should brush their teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit the dentist twice a year.
Dental visits are intimidating for many children. Here are 5 ways to prepare your child for their dental appointment.
Prepare a List for the Appointment
Before you go to the dental appointment, sit down with your child and ask questions that the dentist will probably ask them. Have them explain any pain they have in their teeth and any dental problems they’ve expressed.
Some questions you could ask include:
- Do any of your teeth hurt? How bad is the pain?
- Do you have any sore spots in your mouth?
- When you’re brushing your teeth, have you ever seen blood?
- Are there any changes you’ve noticed in your mouth?
Make a list of these questions with your child’s answers. If your child is shy and won’t answer the dentist’s questions, this can provide the dentist with the needed answers.
Talk About the Appointment
Talk with your child about the dental visit if they’re fearful to go. Don’t go into too much detail, which could only raise more questions; keep the process simple. Use positive language and words that aren’t threatening (avoid words like “pain,” “shot,” “drill”).
If your child is incredibly fearful, consider playing pretend with them and mimic a dental appointment. Count their teeth with them and let them see their teeth in a mirror, familiarizing your child with the procedures of a dental visit.
Strategically Schedule the Appointment Time
Make sure to schedule your child’s dental appointment at a time when they’re well-rested and are most likely to be cooperative.
Mornings are usually the best time to take children to the dentist because they’re refreshed, awake, and alert. If a child is tired, they’re more likely to become frustrated and act up.
Be Close in the Appointment
Many children prefer their parents to be in the same room with them during the exam. Being with your child during the appointment also means that you will hear everything the dentist has to say about your child’s teeth, along with any recommendations he makes.
It can be a great comfort for children to have their parents hold their hands or to sit on their parents’ laps during dental appointments. While it’s tempting to keep talking to your child during the exam in order to distract them, it can be more effective to let the dentist talk to them, telling them about each tool they use and what will happen.
Reinforce the Dentist’s Instructions
After the appointment, consider talking with your child about the things they learned. Make sure to reinforce the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist every six months.
Make sure your child is brushing their teeth thoroughly. You may even consider brushing your teeth at the same time, to give them an example of how to properly brush their teeth and the amount of time it should take.
For more information or to schedule a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas. We are dedicated to providing you and your loved ones with the best dental care.