Whether you’re scheduling your child’s first visit or he is a bit anxious about visiting the tooth doctor, the North Carolina Dental Society recommends a series of tips to help you and your family have a successful visit and relationship with your dentist.
The time has come. Your little one has sprouted teeth and is ready to start visiting the dentist. Whether you’re scheduling your child’s first visit or he is a bit anxious about visiting the tooth doctor, the North Carolina Dental Society recommends a series of tips to help you and your family have a successful visit and relationship with your dentist.
Seeing a pediatric dentist is generally a great place to start and ease your children into a lifetime of dental visits. Generally, the offices of pediatric dentists are decorated with bright colors, fun toys and patient chairs catering your child’s size. Most importantly, these dentists specialize in the oral health of children, beginning in infancy through adolescence. They will help you, the parent, come up with a plan to help your child establish good oral health habits at home that will carry them through their adult lives.
“Typically, children need a lot of help caring for their teeth,” said Dr. Kerry Dove, a pediatric dentist in Concord. “It’s important to start practicing good oral hygiene at an early age to ensure that your kids have healthy teeth. The earlier you start bringing your child to the dentist, the more accustomed they will be to going twice a year as they continue to grow.”
The NC Dental Society and the American Dental Association recommend scheduling that first dental visit after the first tooth emerges, but no later than your little one’s first birthday. Here are four tried and true ways to get your children ready for their upcoming dental checkup:
1. Educate your children. You might try teaching your child about oral hygiene by incorporating books about healthy teeth and gums into their bedtime stories. This way you can make oral health both fun and educational.
2. Encourage good oral hygiene at home. You and your kids can practice your brushing and flossing routine together. Demonstrate to your children that it is important to take good care of your pearly whites by standing in front of the mirror together as part of your morning and nighttime routines.
3. Let your kids communicate their preference. Consider allowing your child to participate in small decisions, such as choosing a special toothbrush with their favorite character on it. They may even find it fun to choose an ADA-approved flavored toothpaste such as bubblegum, strawberry or blue raspberry.
4. Develop a relationship with your pediatric dentist. Ask friends and family for recommendations for a local pediatric dentist with a fun environment and a friendly office staff who will comfort your child and make them feel at ease. Cultivate a relationship with your dentist from that first visit so biannual visits become fun and personable over the years.
To learn more about pediatric dentistry and proper oral hygiene for children, visit www.mouthhealthy.org or consult a dentist in your area.
About the North Carolina Dental Society
The North Carolina Dental Society was founded in 1856 and is one of the oldest dental societies in the country. The NCDS represents 3,800 member dentists in North Carolina. Headquartered in Cary, our mission is to help all members succeed. For more information about the NCDS, visit ncdental.org. The North Carolina Dental Society is a part of the American Dental Association, the nation's largest dental association, representing 161,000 dentist members.