Dental Hygiene Association

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Tips on taking kids to the dentist


Taking your kids to the dentist can be a stressful situation depending on their age and the reason for going. Even adults can have a hard time getting to the dentist due to fears and nervousness. The best way to combat this is to familiarize your family with the childrens dentist right from the beginning all the way up until they are teenagers. What are the best ways to go about this?

First off try to speak of the dentist in a positive tone and if you do happen to have a fear of the dentist don’t make that known to your child. Stick to the monkey see monkey do rule. If you can be brave and go to the dentist so can your child. By creating the dentist to be a good thing and not some scary monster that’s going to be digging in their mouth you have already made the first step in creating good oral hygiene habits. This is true even for teens as they can also be afraid to have their teeth looked at. Just encourage them that maintaining their healthy smile is socially respectable and sparkly white teeth are better to look at then rotten ones. Let your teen know that dentists have found energy drinks to remove twice as much enamel as sports drinks, both are not great for your teeth but one seems to be twice as bad.

Make oral hygiene a priority. Have the entire family aware that keeping your teeth healthy is very important to keep your whole body healthy. Explain how teeth are the first step to good digestion among other things and by keeping your mouth healthy you can keep the rest of your body healthy as well. Make sure everyone has a new toothbrush every 6 months and if your dealing with young kids let them help pick out their own toothbrush to get them excited about the process. With teens let them try out all the fancy mouth washes and floss picks, keeping up with the latest dental trends may just be the way to win them over. They recommend kids have their first dentist appointment by the age of three unless they come up with problems before that but you will be seeing the childrens dentists regularly right until they are 18. By that point your looking at braces, bridges, spacers, implants and many other options for grown up teeth.

If your child does happen to run into problems with their teeth such as tooth decay, cavities or abscess that needs surgery don’t panic. There are many childrens dentists that are trained to deal with children and teens who are afraid of the dentist and it is perfectly natural for them to be nervous. As long as they realize that it is very important to fix the problem before it worsens they will be able to come to you with their issues. If your teen is into sports you may have already crossed this road a couple times with chipped teeth or having them knocked right out of their mouth. The best way to deal with the problem is head on. Many dentists can give conscious sedation to keep the patient calm if needed so there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

If you happen to have family members that have a dental phobia and refuse to see the dentist try to find childrens dentists that do unconscious anesthesia. They will put the patient under for a couple hours to do the work and then have them up and out again in not time.

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