By Emily Weaver
As a mother of a two year old little girl, I’ve learned a lot of helpful tips and knowledge about dentistry and oral hygiene for children that I feel I wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t in the dental field. I thought I would share some helpful tips, advice, and things we do in our office for children.
At our office we start seeing children as soon as there are teeth present in the mouth. The first visit is more of a show and tell for the child, explaining the importance of brushing teeth, helpful hits for good dental hygiene, and limiting sugar intake. We will also do a cleaning, fluoride treatment, and dental x-rays at this appointment. Some children may be nervous at this first visit, therefore we will try to make it fun and more relaxing for them. We show them ho w the dental chair goes up and down and how it takes them for a ride, counting their teeth, and of course, picking a prize from the toy chest. This appointment is also very educational for the parent. We like to explain the importance of brushing their baby teeth and keeping then healthy. Some say “oh they are baby teeth and they will lose them anyways” but this is not the case! These baby teeth play a very important role for the permeant teeth to come in correctly. For instance, if a baby tooth is lost to early before the permeant tooth has a chance to erupt this can cause other teeth to shift and make it impossible for the permeant tooth to come in. This is why keeping their baby teeth as long as you can, or placing a space maintainer to keep the spot available is very important.
I recently brought my daughter in for her very first dental appointment. The mother side of me was still very nervous because as a mother you want the best for your child, and you want to make sure you are doing the best you can to keep their teeth clean and healthy. I was amazed at how awesome she when meeting the dentist and having her teeth cleaned. The morning of her appointment we spoke only positive things and how much fun it was going to be. I believe a positive attitude will result in a positive outcome. This is why we encourage our parents to speak positive to their children upon arrival. We encourage never to say the words “hurt”, “pain”, or “scared”. If there is a question that you are unsure of simply say “I don’t know, but we can ask the dentist.” Other encouraging things to say are “the dentist will see how pretty your teeth are and what a good job you are doing” or “today they will just count your teeth and brush them” and “when you are finished your teeth will so clean and bright and shiny.”
I once read an article that stated to make that dental first visit a fun day, let them wear a super hero costume or fairy princess costume just to give them a little bite more confidence. Tell them how exciting it is when the tooth fairy comes to visit. Make something new fun and exciting. We see kids of all ages at Carlyle Dental, so please start them young so we can help teach good oral hygiene habits at a young age and teach them not to fear the dentist. These will be good tools for them to carry with them throughout their life and pass on to their children. To schedule an appointment please call us as (252-522-1777). We look forward to meeting you and your family.