Introduction

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for both of you. But it doesn’t have to be! By following these tips, you can help your child feel comfortable and excited about their first dental visit.

Start talking about the dentist early.

Don’t wait until the appointment day to start talking to your child about the dentist. Explain what the dentist does and why it’s important to see them regularly. You can even read books about going to the dentist together.

Make it a fun experience.

Try to make your child’s first dental visit as fun and positive as possible. Let them choose a special outfit to wear and bring their favorite toy along. You can even role-play going to the dentist at home to help them get used to the idea.

Be prepared.

When you arrive at the dentist’s office, take some time to explore the waiting room and let your child see the dentist’s tools. It will help them feel more comfortable with their surroundings.

Answer your child’s questions.

Be honest and answer all of your child’s questions about the dental visit. Don’t sugarcoat things or try to downplay the experience.

Be patient and supportive.

It’s important to be patient and supportive during your child’s dental visit. Let them know that you’re there for them and that everything will be okay.

Conclusion

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time is an important milestone in their oral health journey. By following the tips in this article, you can help your child have a positive and stress-free experience. Remember to start talking to your child about the dentist early, make the visit fun and positive, be prepared, answer their questions, and be patient and supportive. By following these tips, you can help your child develop a healthy smile and a lifetime of good oral health habits.

Don’t hesitate to contact our office. We are here to help you and your child have a positive experience.

Sweeping away the “sugar bugs.” Playing “beat the timer.” Making funny faces. These are just some of the silly but effective ways my husband and I got our two daughters excited about taking care of their teeth. Our hard work has paid off: now, the girls are happy to brush twice a day and show off their pearly whites to the dentist.

For many parents, teaching kids good dental hygiene is a twice-daily battle. But as experts point out, it’s a fight worth having. Though it’s largely preventable, tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children aged 6-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to everything from speech delays to dental pain and infections to diabetes.

We at Growing Smiles in Anna tx know that oral health is closely linked to overall health, If we make sure children receive proper dental education and care early on, it will help them to be healthy throughout their lives.

Here are some ways to make brushing and flossing a fun — and regular — part of your child’s daily routine.

Choose kid-flavored toothpaste

Many people do not understand that adult toothpaste is not the ideal option for young children simply because it is not appealing.

Additionally, consider recommending that parents buy a few different flavors of toothpaste, for example, strawberry, bubblegum, and watermelon. Children feel empowered when they have options and the ability to make their own decisions. Remind parents that spending a few extra dollars on a variety of children’s toothpaste is a minimal expense when compared to the alternative expense of fillings.

Start oral hygiene early.

It’s never too early to make brushing and flossing a part of their morning and nightly routines. Dentists recommend starting dental care even before your child’s first tooth arrives. During infancy, wipe down their gums nightly with a soft, damp cloth. Switch to a toothbrush when their teeth come in (usually around 6 months of age), and floss once teeth start touching (typically around age 2 or 3). Schedule a visit to the dentist by the first birthday, regardless of how many teeth they have.

Purchase soft or extra-soft children’s toothbrushes

Encourage parents to purchase soft or extra-soft toothbrushes for their children. Many stores have a limited selection, so you could also suggest that they go online to find different options. Brushing can be painful for children because of their growing jaws, sensitive gums, and erupting teeth. Reducing the “ouch” factor of brushing by recommending soft toothbrushes will help kids feel more at ease about the brushing process.

Another easy adjustment that can be made is to lighten the lateral pressure that children and/or parents use when they are brushing. Even the softest bristles can feel like needles if they are pressed up against the gums too hard. Remember that plaque is a biofilm and it does not take much to remove it. Tell parents to let the bristles do the work. Keeping kids comfortable will help them be more cooperative.

Set a good example.

When it comes to teaching good dental hygiene, practice what you preach. “A child emulates whatever a parent is doing,” explains the doctors at Growing Smiles in Anna tx “So if your child regularly sees you flossing, she’s more likely to floss.” For added fun, pretend to be a mirror the next time you and your kid brush together and encourage them to copy your every move.

Allow the child to choose his/her toothbrush

Allowing children to choose which toothbrush they want is another excellent way to get kids more enthusiastic about brushing. Pediatric toothbrushes are intentionally designed to have thicker handles for easier grasping, smaller heads for more comfortable access, and they have bright colors and recognizable characters. This makes the toothbrush look more appealing. Help skeptical parents see that while these brushes are maybe a little more expensive, their appeal factor is worth the investment. Allowing little ones to choose between two or three options gives them a sense of ownership and will hopefully help them feel more enthusiastic and excited about brushing.

Turn toothbrushing into a game.

Whether you’re 6 or 66, dentists recommend brushing teeth twice a day, for two minutes at a time. That’s because studies show that the longer you brush, the more plaque you remove, says Conicella. Try one of these creative games to help them meet the two-minute mark:

Find a way to make it fun

Kids love games and, depending on their age, they are often enthusiastic about doing activities where they can bond with others—especially their parents. Unfortunately, children associate toothbrushing with bedtime. And we all know how most kids feel about bedtime.

Making it fun can be difficult. What works like a charm one day can be an epic fail the next day. But here are a few fun suggestions that may be helpful to parents.

Tell a story.

It used to be a fight for Callie Rae McCarthy to get her 2- and 4-year-olds to brush. But when the Bloomfield, N.J., mom said animals were hiding in their teeth, the kids popped their mouths wide open. Now, the children choose which animal to go after each night, and it darts all over the teeth and tongue while Callie Rae or her husband chases it with a toothbrush. In the end, she hands the brush to each child and tells them to finish the chase. “They laugh and they giggle — isn’t that just what we want with everything?” she says.

Experts say using something relatable, like a story, is a great way to get reluctant brushers to participate. You can also try reading an age-appropriate book about taking care of your teeth or letting your child practice brushing their stuffed animal’s teeth.

Always remember…

After giving parents each of the four suggestions, make sure to encourage them. Parents and caregivers face many challenges and sometimes the battle of helping children brush their teeth feels too overwhelming to handle. Encourage them to keep their chin up and to keep trying because “tooth brushing habits which are learned during early years of life [are] deeply ingrained in the child’s mind and this may [lead] to the adoption of good oral hygiene methods in later life.”

Resources:

dentistryiq.com

aetna.com

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. Growing Smiles is a pediatric dentist in AnnaRichardson, Plano, Garland, Murphy we have Pediatric Services in Texas: Early Childhood CarePreventive CareGeneral TreatmentsSedation DentistrySpecial Needs DentistryEmergency Service and Orthodontic (Braces & Invisalign) For more information call us to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.

Even if you had cavities when you were young, your child doesn’t have to develop them. Find out how to protect kids’ teeth from tooth decay. Practices like using fluoride to strengthen teeth and eating a balanced diet can set your child up for a healthy smile for life.

What Causes Cavities?

When plaque has the chance to build upon the surface of teeth, the germs in plaque mix with sugars and carbohydrates in the mouth. This dangerous cocktail of bacteria and sugars forms acids that can attack the outer surface of teeth. When this process, known as demineralization, goes unchecked, cavities form. Using fluoride can strengthen the outer enamel of teeth and help to prevent cavities. Brushing and regular dental visits can help to fight plaque. Eating a healthy diet can help to nourish young teeth and gums.

Fluoride and Kids’ Teeth

Brushing with fluoride toothpaste as soon as kids are old enough to spit, getting fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office and getting a small amount of this mineral through water and some foods can set your child up for cavity protection. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with toothpaste. Little ones can look forward to brushing with a fun, fruit-flavored toothpaste like Colgate Dora the Explorer. Older kids may enjoy a toothpaste with cavity protection like Colgate Fresh ‘N Protect. Talk to your dentist about how much fluoride your child is exposed to. He or she may tell you to use fluoride water or supplements in addition to using a fluoride toothpaste.

Oral Care Essentials for Kids

To fight childhood cavities, use fluoride as part of a healthy oral care routine. When kids are still young, they need help brushing their teeth. For those independent spirits, let them brush first and then you can brush a second time. Floss your child’s teeth for her to remove plaque from the gum line and between teeth. Children should start seeing a dentist two times a year around the age of one.

Healthy Eating Habits

Another way to protect your child’s teeth from cavities is to make a healthy diet a part of your family’s lifestyle. Cut back on sugary snacks and starchy foods. Crunchy foods like apples, carrots, almonds, and celery make wonderful snacks for developing teeth. Serve whole grains and plenty of low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Encourage brushing after meals. With good oral hygiene and healthy habits, you can ensure that your kids will be less likely to have to deal with cavities.

source:

colgate.com

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.

From the cafeteria to bagged lunches to vending machines, your child has a plethora of options for mid-day meals, and they’re not all good for them. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, children aren’t getting the nutrition they need at school to maintain their oral health. Rather than promoting a healthy smile, school lunches may be contributing to dental caries, or cavities, the most common childhood disease.

A Cavity-Packed Lunch

Cavities are caused when the sugar we eat combines with the bacteria found in our mouths to form an acid that attacks teeth. Eventually, these acid attacks can lead to tooth decay or cavities. Frequently eating a sugar-filled lunch, especially when we’re not able to brush after meals, can wreak havoc on our teeth. Consuming vending machine sweets, packing candy in bagged lunches, and buying sugary desserts from the cafeteria all contribute to the possibility of cavities.

You can’t watch your children while they’re away at school, but you can set them up to make good decisions regarding their oral health. Whether your children are eating a school or bagged lunch, you can help them make healthy choices for a lifetime of dental health.

Types of Lunches:

School Lunches

Many cafeterias and vending machines offer a variety of options, and your child’s choice of food can make or break their oral health. Unfortunately, the sugary snacks and sodas found in many school vending machines can lead to cavities and kids can often purchase desserts in the cafeteria that aren’t good for their dental health, or for their overall health for that matter. In recent years, there’s been an ongoing debate over school vending machines, but you can start your campaign towards excellent dental care by investigating your school’s choices in food supplies.

Understandably, children may be tempted by the sweet treats offered in their school’s cafeteria or vending machines, but you have the power to steer them in the right direction. Discuss the importance of oral health with your child, and talk about appropriate food choices for lunch. When your children come home from school, review what they ate that day. Routinely discussing the importance of a good diet can help your children make correct choices in the future.

Bagged Lunches

Preparing your child’s lunch is a great way to avoid cavity-causing foods. If you do, here are several ways to promote a tooth-healthy meal:

– Pack the right amount of food to meet their nutritional needs. That means including fruit, vegetables, grains and calcium-fortified dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and milk daily.

– Don’t include sticky foods that can’t easily be washed away, especially if your children aren’t able to brush their teeth after lunch.

– Encourage your children to drink beverages that are low in sugar. Drinking water and other low-sugar liquids can help wash away food particles that might get stuck between teeth.

– You may want to include a travel toothbrush with your child’s lunch. Speak with our dentists about how often your children should be brushing their teeth, and whether lunchtime brushing is appropriate for them.

When you review your child’s day at school, be sure to include what they ate. Ensuring that your child is making the right choices will not only improve his or her dental health but will also help control another childhood epidemic.

 We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment.