When you think of children’s teeth it is important to remember that baby teeth are not little adult teeth. Baby teeth can suffer from the same tooth decay and other issues that adult teeth do, but they also have a very special purpose, they act as “place holders” while the permanent teeth are preparing to erupt. Teaching children to care for their teeth at an early age is key to helping them enjoy the benefits of a lifetime of dental health.
Set them up for success. Begin talking to your children early about brushing and flossing. Wonderful educational materials are available at MouthHealthy.org. that will prepare you to answer any questions they may have on why they need to brush and floss their teeth. When taking them to the dentist, schedule the appointment at a time of day that is good for them, not near nap time or when they will be tired. Typically, the dentist is only visited twice a year so having a good experience each and every time is important.
Seeing is believing. Make sure your children are seeing you model good behaviors. Whether you know it or not they are watching you, are you brushing twice a day and flossing? What are you saying about going to your dentist appointments? As parents you know your children, and how they pick up on absolutely everything!
Reinforce positive associations with the dentist. Previous generations have had some negative connotations with dental visits and associate them with pain and fear. Haring Pediatric Dental is setting out to change that. From the time a child walks in to our office they are ensconced in a fun, imaginative environment including a game room and sunken ship playroom. That fun continues during their visit with each and every team member. We communicate with each child directly and make sure each experience is one they will want to repeat. When we say “Going to the dentist just got fun!” we mean it!