A child who is comfortable at the dentist from an early age has a good chance of understanding important oral health messages from the start. And that is the key to healthy teeth into adult life.
1. Start early
When the first milk teeth appear at around 6 months, take your tots along with you for your routine check ups. Your dentist can take a look while your child is on your knee. And it gets them used to the sounds and smells of the dental surgery. Your dentist will advise you on how often check-ups should be for youngsters.
2. Get yourself up to speed
Make sure you attend your check ups yourself so your children can emulate your good behaviour! And learn about the key oral health messages so that you can reinforce your dentist’s advice. Make oral health education part of regular discussions at home. “Can you remember why we brush our teeth?” or “Can you remember why we are having water on the dinner table instead of fizzy drinks?”.
3. Don’t make a big deal of it
Routine dental check-ups should be just that… routine, nothing to worry about. Making a lot of fuss about an approaching visit may trigger alarm bells!
4. Accentuate the positive
“Your dentist is going to make your teeth nice and sparkly when we see her tomorrow!”…rather than “If you don’t behave yourself, I’ll get the dentist to give you the needle tomorrow”.
5. Silence the siblings!
Older brothers and sisters have a habit of winding up their younger sibs… great sport for them but not helpful in this situation. See if they can help rather than hinder by giving positive messages that support what you are saying. Although this is easier said than done… bribery may be needed!
6. Plan a reward for afterwards
But one that positively reinforces the oral health advice that your dental team has given. Maybe not bottle of pop and a chocolate bar. How about a new toothbrush (you can get them with celebs on now!) or a tasty non-sugary family meal in the evening that allows you re-cap what is good for teeth and what is not.
Do you have any helpful tips that you can share from your own experiences… either of when you were taken to the dentist as a child or perhaps when you have taken your own children?
About Cleveland Orthodontics
Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.
We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.