Most dental providers recommend taking your child to a dentist even before they have teeth, and this is a good way to identify any potential issues early to prevent oral health problems later on. Clean babies' gums with a clean, soft cloth to help get them used to having oral exams by your pediatric dentist. There are some other ways to help your child adapt to regular, routine appointments with your dentist, and these strategies may also alleviate the anxiety experienced by children during these procedures.
Starting good habits early.
Get kids started on the right foot by making their first dental appointment prior to their first birthday. Model good oral habits for your child by brushing, flossing, and rinsing after eating or drinking. Kids will copy what they see, and this is an excellent way to foster dental habits that will last a lifetime.
Keeping teeth healthy.
Most people know the types of foods that they provide to their children for good dental health, but do you know the things to stay away from? Besides candy and sugary sweets, acidic foods should also be avoided, as they can do damage to the enamel on young teeth.
Utilizing sleep dentistry.
A great solution to the possible stress caused by a dental exam or procedure is sleep dentistry. This is becoming more common and widely accepted, as it can make appointments quicker, more thorough, and less anxiety-provoking for young patients.
Some more reasons to talk to your child's dentist about sleep dentistry include the following:
- Quelled fear. Kids will sleep during potentially scary procedures.
- Increased comfort. When children are more comfortable, they are more cooperative.
- More thorough examinations. Dentists will be able to give your child a more complete exam and identify any potential issues.
- Trusting bond. When your child sleeps through their appointment, they are less inclined to associate the dentist with an unpleasant experience.
- Dental precision. Providers are able to do a more precise job when the patient is sleeping quietly.
- Better association. The trauma of dental discomfort can give kids anxiety toward their provider that lasts into adulthood.
Get your child off to a good start by fostering dental habits that they will mimic and use their entire lifetime. Familiarize your child with a professional pediatric dental provider, like those at Apollo Dental Center, and talk with your dentist about ways to make appointments and procedures less stressful.