Find a Dentist for Your Children
It is common for kids to struggle with anxiety or fears when it is time for their annual dental exam. While it is important to find a dentist who can make the younger members of the family feel at ease during their time in the office, it is equally important for parents to trust in the care and services the dentist will provide. Each experience in the dental chair has an impact on how calm and compliant a child will be during future visits, so it is important to create positive experiences for everyone from the earliest appointments.
Recommendations for finding the right dentist
As an adult, it is easier to recognize the importance of the need for professional dental cleanings and checkups and push past any hesitancies or anxieties about scheduling an appointment. As a parent, you also need to recognize that dental care is equally important for children in spite of their reluctance to go for a checkup. Finding the right dentist makes routine dental care more acceptable and pleasant for kids of all ages.
Narrow down the selection of providers
Dentists deal with oral health, but there are different concerns and needs across age ranges. Dental school provides the education needed to address dental conditions, but experience can provide the extra touch needed to relate well to children. To find a dentist who has a reputation for working well with younger ages, consider asking friends or family members for a recommendation. A good dentist will have patience with young patients who are anxious or fidgety. A good relationship between all members of the family and the dentist makes the visit more manageable and enjoyable.
Schedule regular appointments
Dental checkups are recommended at least once or twice a year for comprehensive oral care. Children face a number of factors that impact teeth and gum health, such as poor diet, improper brushing and flossing techniques, and tooth loss. Only making a trip to the dentist when there is pain or discomfort does little to create a positive experience for children and interferes with the ability of the dentist to encourage good dental care practices or uncover potential problems.
Preparations for a child’s dental appointment
To alleviate the concerns of visiting a dentist, prepare the child for an upcoming appointment. Read books about dentists or schedule a tour of the dental office before the day of the checkup. Have a role-playing session where the child can pretend to be the dentist or the patient and walk through some of the procedures that they will encounter.
Recognize a child’s needs
Visiting a dental office can be intimidating, but meeting a child’s physical and emotional needs during a checkup can make a difference. Staff who are warm and welcoming can do a lot to dispel a child’s fears, as do waiting rooms and dental rooms that are engaging to children. Rewards or incentives can also be motivating to children as they sit through their exams.
It is easier to encourage good oral hygiene in a child when you are able to find a dentist who works well with children. Instilling a positive experience at a young age can lead to good lifelong dental habits.
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