My kids oddly love going to the dentist. We started them both around 1 year, mostly because they got their teeth really early. Each of my boys had 16 of their 20 baby teeth by the time they were 13 months old! That said, we know that sometimes, visiting the dentist can be scary for kiddos – and let’s be real: there are adults who still don’t like it!
Our team at Green Leaf Dental Clinic have shared some tips to make your visits to the dentist easier and less stressful. Green Leaf Dental Clinic offers free Infant Oral Health exams to children 14 months of age and younger. There’s no reason to wait!
1. START THEM YOUNG
The earlier the better!! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go the dentist by age 1, or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Baby teeth usually begin growing in around 6 months of age.
2. KID FRIENDLY TOOTH TALK
Talk to you child about visiting the dentist, but limit the amount of information you give them. Avoid the words “hurt”, “shot”, “pain”, “yank” or “drill”. Try using words that aren’t so scary like, “strong”, “healthy teeth”, “wiggle”, “sleepy” instead.
3. IT’S OK IF THEY CRY AND FUSS
It’s perfectly normal for a child to cry, whine, and wiggle while having their teeth looked at by someone they don’t know. Try and keep your cool and let our dental team help you help your child. We may ask you to come and hold hands with your child which may offer them some comfort.
4. GIVE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
Please tell your child that you’re proud of them for coming to the dentist, even if they cried, whined, or yelled. We will also tell them they did a great job and we appreciate that they came to visit us. We want them to look forward to coming to their next appointment.
5. EMPHASIZE HEALTHY ORAL HYGIENE HABITS
Let your child know that coming to the dentist is a necessity and not a choice. Their smiles are beautiful and the only way to keep them shiny and bright is to visit their dentist. Brush and floss at home in the morning and before bedtime, and if it helps, let your child complete a brush chart to see how great they’re doing!