Dental Hygiene Association

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Make Your Kids Like Trips to the Dentist with These 4 Tips


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Americans put a high premium in having a nice smile but many of us are not happy with how ours look. Part of the problem is that many of us have phobias about going to the dentist. Most adults do not go to their dentist as recommended (every six months). This could be one reason that at least 15 million people across the United States have crowns or bridgework that has been done to replace missing teeth. It has been estimated that almost half of the people in the country are not happy with the way their teeth look. At least 48% say their teeth do not look good (64% of that number say the reason their teeth are ugly is because they are discolored). Moreover at least 20% (one in five) American adults has untreated cavities. If you want your kids to have a better experience with the family dentistry office, there are some things you can do.

  1. Get over your fear. If you have a fear of going to the dentist, there is a very good chance that you will pass it along to your kids. One way to avoid making them have a fear or phobia of going to the family dentistry office is to deal with your issues. There are a number of things you can do to take the stress out of going to the dentist:
    1. Talk to the dentist and the staff about your fear. People who work in family dentistry offices understand that many people are scared to go. They have ways to help and painless dentistry has grown tremendously over the last few years. There may be newer options that were not available the last time you saw your family dentist.
    2. Get some medication. You can take homeopathic remedies for your anxiety. Valerian root is one such remedy that people use to help with their anxiety levels. You can also ask your doctor or dentist about prescriptions you can get to help with your fears.
    3. Go more often. This may seem counterintuitive if you are scared of something, it is going to be hard to get you to go but when you put off going, the dental services you will end up needing can be more involved and more painful to have completed. The more often you go to your dentist, the better your relationship will be and the more relaxed you will be when you are in the chair. This will make you increase your comfort level, reduce the discomfort you feel and it is a great way to start to get over your fear.
  2. Take them along with you when you have your routine dental appointments. When you have appointments with your dentist, take your kids along with you. This will take the mystery and some of the scariness factor out of going to the dental office. Your kids will see you going (not being stressed) and see that going to the dentist is an important thing they should do to stay healthy.
  3. Find a family dentistry practice. There are a lot of different kinds of dentists out there. If you are looking to bring all of the people in your family to the same dental office, you will want to find a practice that specializes in family dentistry. This is important because not all dental offices have the right equipment to treat kids. Finding a family and kid friendly dentist is important for more reasons than that. You want the dentist and staff to have a lot of experience dealing with children and the issues they have.
  4. Make it a fun experience by treating them to something fun afterwards. When your kids are good at the dentist’s office, take them to do something fun afterwards. This can help them associate going to the dentist with good and fun things rather than fear and pain.

It is important to start your kids off with good oral hygiene habits when they are young. By the time they get to the age to start kindergarten, at least 40% of kids have cavities. Make going to the family dentistry office more fun for them and you with these four tips.

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