Dentist: Bring Your Kids
The importance of oral hygiene cannot be overstated. At every stage of our lives, having a healthy mouth is conducive to overall wellness. Although each of us knows how important it is to maintain good habits, many people don’t realize the need to begin instilling these behaviors in children at a young age. Often because it is not crucial for children to go to the dentist very early in life, they do not have their first experience with these doctors until something happens that needs to be dealt with immediately. This creates a negative relationship between the child and the dentist’s office. This is why it is better to bring children in for a check up before something goes wrong. Following an appointment, they will be more at ease when they inevitably must have a cavity filled or a tooth extracted in the future.
It is unlikely that you will want to bring your child to the same office that you or your partner frequent. There are many dentists who specialize in kids and family dentistry, and they have not only gentle hands but also the appropriate environment for the family. First off, ask your friends with children where they go. Other people will be the best resource because they have experience and will be able to let you know who is very good, and maybe more importantly who is not so good. Another good resource is online sites that have links to direct people to local practitioners. The websites of individual doctors will often have testimonials and photographs of the office that will give an impression of what the place is like. Websites also sometimes have activities for kids to feel comfortable with the forthcoming visit. Some sites may have coloring pages of teeth that can be printed out or colored online, while other sites will have matching games where you match teeth with the type of animal.
Another way to get your kid excited about the dentist is letting the child actively engage in their own oral hygiene. Start out by taking them to the drugstore and letting them pick out a brand new toothbrush and toothpaste. There are many companies that place cartoon and movie characters on their products to further encourage kids to want to brush. Also, because many of the tastes that are associated with toothpaste and mouthwash can be pretty intense, they produce flavors and products that are milder for children. They have flavors like bubblegum and berry, which help to instill good habits of oral hygiene. By building good habits and establishing positive associations with the dentist at a young age, parents can set their child on a lifelong path to good mouth care.