Childrens dental procedures can be especially scary and uncomfortable for a child who has little dental experience. Yet dental care for children with baby teeth is very important to establish good habits and create a healthy environment for their future adult teeth. To prep your toddler or young child for an upcoming exam, try some of these strategies.
Kids love making their own choices and feeling like they have some autonomy. Like picking out big kid underwear during potty training, letting kids choose their own toothbrush option and giving them exciting ones makes them look forward to oral hygiene as a non-threatening part of growing up. Stick with a simple brush and let your child choose a favorite color or character, or check out some novelty brushes to making brushing extra exciting.
Another fun choice for kids! Many children’s toothpastes have fun flavors, colors, and characters. See what kind appeals to your child.
Does your child have an older sibling or cousin who is well-behaved and unafraid at the dentist? Young children mirror the reactions of children and adults around them. To reassure your child that the dentist is nothing to be scared of and show them what is expected behavior at a dentist, bring them to a family member’s routine check-up and let them observe and ask questions.
Help them count their teeth and look at them in a mirror. Play silly children’s songs about teeth. Have them guess how many teeth you have. Children love learning about their bodies, and you can easily turn it into a fascinating game for them. If they are used to examining their own mouths and teeth, it will feel less unfamiliar and invasive when their mouths and teeth are examined during basic childrens dental procedures.
Wherever you go for your child’s dental care, the best way to keep them comfortable in the office is to be sure that they are comfortable with their dentist and dental assistants. Maybe you’ll specifically choose a dental clinic for kids, where they are used to connecting with small patients and putting them at ease.
In a nutshell, let your child be informed and comfortable with the idea of their teeth and the dentist, and you’ll find that a routine check-up can go smoother than expected!