Have you taken your kids to the dentist recently? Many people around the United States assume that the most common ailments in children are asthma, allergies, obesity, or diabetes but none of those are correct. Tooth decay is the most common health problem among kids according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. It is five times as common as asthma and four times as common as early-childhood obesity. In terms of diabetes, it is 20 times more common that than illness. The tooth decay problem is having a really negative impact on kids’ overall dental health. Nearly 20% of all American kids between two and five years old has cavities that have not been treated. That number jumps to nearly 23% in kids between six and 19 years old. If you have not made an appointment with a pediatric dental services specialist lately you may want to.
You may have put this off because you are not sure how to get your child used to going to the dentist. Many people have a fear of going and there are ways you can make the experience of visiting a pediatric dental services office easier.
Show them that you are not afraid. If you show a fear of the dentist, they will sense it and share it. We pass many things down to our children and ours fears are included in that. Before you take your child to their first pediatric dental services appointment, take them along with you to your next dental appointment. Let them come in with you and watch you dental cleaning. Show them that the experience is not scary or painful and talk up how great your teeth feel after your cleaning.
Lead by example. One of the best ways to help your kids develop healthy dental habits is to practice good dental hygiene at home yourself. Show them the best way to brush and floss their teeth. Do this daily and they will learn to get into the habit of taking care of their teeth.
Get books about going to the dentist. There are fun children’s books about going to the dentist. These books showcase what happens during a visit to the pediatric dental services office. Usually the characters in the books find themselves into funny and quirky situations. These books are great ways to show that going to the dentist is not something to be afraid of. These books offer a great way to start the conversation about what it is like to go to the pediatric dental services office and what they can expect.
Play “dentist office.” If your children are really concerned about going to the pediatric dental services center for the first time you can role play the experience with them before hand. This is one way you can familiarize them with the experience of getting a dental check up and cleaning. Some things you can do are have them lay back (if you have a reclining chair, that works great), check their teeth, use a brush to “polish” their teeth and joke with them throughout the process. Answer any questions they have and just reassure them that this is a routine and good thing to do.
Talk up the positive impact of good oral hygiene. Most people in the United States care about the way their smile looks but reinforce the idea that this is bigger than just looking good. Good oral hygiene habits are important to your overall health. If you do not go to a pediatric dentist who gives out something fun after a dental visit, do something special with them afterwards. Let them know that they will get something special after their visit to the pediatric dental services office.
Going to the dentist can be scary for people of all ages but it does not have to be. All dentists realize that people are scared when they go so they go out of their way to make the experience better and more enjoyable. No one knows how to do this more than the people at a pediatric dental services office who deal with children all of the time.