Your Children and the Dentist
We all want our children to have a great experience going to the dentist. What can we do to make sure we do this from an early age?
We all want the best for our children
As parents, we want nothing more than to see our children grow up to be healthy, happy and successful. As such, we try our best to instil excellent habits in them from an early age. These are things like good manners and enjoying a balanced and nutritious diet. We want them to enjoy exercise, reading and learning as much as possible… the list is endless!
What about our children’s oral health?
While there are many things we are constantly teaching our kids, there’s something else to think about… their oral health. This is just as important as, and intrinsically linked to, their overall health.
Research has shown that certain conditions – including heart disease and stroke – are linked to our oral health. It has never been more essential for us all to look after our teeth and gums. So how do you get your children used to the dentist and interested in their own oral health?
Start them young
Take your children along to your own dental appointments while they are still babies. This will help them to become accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice from an early age. Your dental team will be more than happy to show toddlers the dental chair and other aspects of the practice. This means that it becomes a place that is fun and is exciting for them. This is certain to make future dental appointments something that they look forward to.
Build good habits
For the most part, habits are usually learned from what they see. If children witness their parents regularly attending dental appointments, brushing and flossing properly and going to the hygienist as often as recommended, then they will happily follow suit.
However, if they see parents who avoid the dentist, or show fear, concern or worry about attending dental check-ups, they will learn that this is a place to be avoided.
If you are scared of the dentist, you will know that this is not something you want for your children. Speak with your dental practice about how they can help you to overcome your fear. By tackling this, you can take your children along to their appointments with a far more positive outlook, something that they too will adopt. If you can’t, then ensure that your kids are attending their dental appointments, perhaps with a family member who is positive about the experience.
Creating an interest in oral health starts at home with great cleaning techniques. Encourage your children to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day – there are plenty of apps that help with timing. See the bottom of this page for some dentist recommended products. Introduce flossing as soon as they have teeth that touch. Your dentist will have a wealth of tips and advice to help build an excellent home care regime that can become a fun routine, so make sure you ask at your next appointment.
Find a child friendly dentist near you
Click the link below and type in your location. Choose the advanced search and click ’Child Friendly Dentists’. This will give you a list of dentists near you who can help. You can also read their patient reviews!