As a parent, bringing your child to the dentist can be difficult if your child is afraid. Our focus at Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is to help you care for your child’s dental health from the beginning and help you to ease your child into developing a positive and lifelong habit of regular dental check-ups and hygiene visits.
Start With Great Habits
Start them young by bringing your child along to your own or their siblings’ dental visits. We’ll make sure they are engaged positively and that they even get a small prize for coming. Regular visits to the dentist cannot be emphasized enough in creating conditions for great oral health. Start your child young on a path that will encourage proper dental hygiene, emphasize the link between diet and cavities, and teach injury prevention.
When you child is three years old they should begin having a regular dental examination. Starting this early keeps those early appointments short, easy and positive, turning them into a patient who enjoys coming to the dentist.
Catch Correctable Problems Early
Crowded teeth and irregular bites due to narrow jaws or underdeveloped lower jaws can often be corrected through the use of functional appliances if caught early. The ideal age for the use of functional appliances is between ages seven and eleven, but can be utilized as early as age 4, if the upper jaw is too narrow and is having a negative effect on the child’s breathing and speech. Catching dental problems early can mean less time in orthodontic treatments as a teen and not having to remove permanent teeth due to over-crowding.
Supervise Brushing up to Age 5 or 6
Since children lack dexterity and often really do not understand how important it is to brush thoroughly, it’s important to supervise their brushing once they are able to do it on their own. You should supervise your child’s brushing until you are comfortable with them doing it themselves, which often means until the age of 5 or 6. This investment of your time will be worth it when your child’s check-up reveals a clean bill of health!
Don’t Forget About Flossing!
Once your child’s teeth have grown in, your child should start flossing daily. Most parents have no problem with enforcing a routine of brushing each morning and each evening before bed, but often neglect to add the important step of flossing. Simply put, the tooth brush cannot reach between the teeth which cavities often start. The best time to floss is at night – so add it to your child’s bedtime routine and set your child up for a complete and effective oral healthcare routine.
Nothing Except Water After Night Brushing & Flossing
After your child’s bedtime brushing make sure they do not drink anything besides water or eat before bed. If your child does eat or drink after brushing, make sure they brush again! Foods or sugary drinks at night are one of the major causes of decay and cavities in young teeth, so it’s worth being very strict about this rule.
Don’t Let Dental Anxiety Get in the Way
You child learns a lot from you, including your attitudes. Therefore, speaking and acting positively about going to the dentist, naturally creates a positive attitude in your child about the dentist. A lot of adults harbor anxiety about going to the dentist. This is unfortunate since modern advances in dentistry, such as sedation dentistry, make it completely unnecessary to even remotely fear going to the dentist. If you have dental anxiety, come and see us to find out how we can help you and read more about sedation dentistry on our website. In the meantime, as a parent, do your best to contain your anxiety and make your child’s experience the positive one that it can and should be.
We look forward to you contacting us to book an appointment for your child today!
Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Our Nanaimo dentists and dental hygienists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care. At each visit to our office we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.