Brushing, flossing, and making regular appointments for professional teeth cleaning is an essential part of maintaining good health. As a parent or caregiver, one of the first routines you’ll ingrain in your child is taking care of their teeth. And, that includes examinations at the closest pediatric dentist in Calgary. It might interest you to know that at least 13% to 24% of people are nervous about going to the dentist. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that your kids are comfortable about going for appointments from an early age without any anxiety.
Read ahead for some tips about how to make dental appointments a routine or even, fun activity. You’ll also find some simple tips to reassure your kids and take away their fear and anxiety.
Familiarize Your Kids with the Children’s’ Dentist from a Young Age
Just as the kids’ dentist at our clinic in Calgary will explain, bring your child for an appointment at an early age. Ideally, the first checkup should be at six months after kids have broken the first tooth. The oral care expert will conduct a thorough examination and identify any potential problems. Often times, cavities are present in hidden corners and may not be visible to you. Also, learn how to take proper care of your child’s teeth and prevent caries and tooth decay. Brushing your child’s teeth with a soft-bristled brush and using fluoride-free dental care products are some of the directions you’ll receive.
Starting with tongue and gum cleaning helps babies become used to having objects moving around in their mouths. Ask the children’s dentist for information about how to clean your infant’s tongue also. Once your kids are habituated to regular appointments, they’ll feel less anxious about the visits.
It’s Time to Get Over Your Own Fears
It is not uncommon for parents to be anxious about dental appointments and communicate their fears to their kids. If you’re nervous about professional cleanings, you’ll want to get over that phobia. You don’t want the child to pick up your fears and dread appointments. Keep in mind that kids pick up cues from your behavior and the tone of your voice. Talk to the pediatric dentist in Calgary about how you feel and ask how to get around the problem. Learn how to adopt a positive attitude toward oral care. It is best that you choose a family dentistry facility so your kids can accompany you and accept the process as a normal part of life. The kids’ dentist will likely suggest that you let them watch you getting teeth cleaning. That’s possibly the best way to reassure them that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Choose the Right Kids’ Dentist
When choosing an oral care facility, look for a specialized pediatric dentist in Calgary. Such clinics have a warm, comforting atmosphere designed for children. You’ll find that the waiting room is painted in soothing colors and adorned with animals and nursery motifs. The clinic also places toys, tables for activities, and video games to keep kids busy and entertained while they wait. The pleasant ambiance could make your kids look forward to the appointments. Typically, kids’ dentists have special training to care for young patients. And, know how to interact with children. Other team members like nurses and lab technicians also know how to deal with kids.
In case your little ones need to get braces later, having a friendly relationship with the dentist will make the treatment smoother. Further, kids could have an injury or a dental problem that needs emergency care. It is advisable that they have a familiar face helping them when they’re in pain.
Talk About the Importance of Visiting the Dentist
As parents and caregivers, you must talk to your kids about the importance of brushing and caring for their teeth. Get them books with lots of pictures and choose stories where the characters brush and floss. You could also pick out videos of cartoons going through a morning routine that includes dental hygiene. Have your kids watch when mum and dad brush their teeth so they understand the importance of the routine. Children learn best by emulating and imitating their primary caregivers. As they get older, play games with them where they act as the kids’ dentist and take care of your teeth. Or, clean the oral cavity of favorite toys, stuffed animals, and dolls. When kids visit a real dentist, the familiarity will help them be comfortable about the whole experience.
Here’s another tip. Parents must educate their kids about identifying and trusting specific community members who can help them. Add the pediatric dentist in Calgary to the list of people they can rely on. This simple exercise lays the foundation for building a positive connection with oral care experts.
Make Oral Care and Visiting the Children’s Dentist a Positive Experience
Viewing dental appointments positively is the best lesson you can give your child. Being comfortable in the dentist’s chair is a good first step. Most caregivers tend to scare their kids into brushing and flossing. For instance, you might talk about cavities eating their teeth. Or, something bad happening. Instead of negative outcomes, talk about the good things about visiting the children’s dentist. Carefully avoid terms like “boo-boo,” “pain,” or “hurting.” Focus on how the cleaning will make their mouths fresh and clean.
When you go for the first appointment, hold your baby and sit in the chair. Use a low, soothing voice or sing a familiar song while the specialist examines the infant. Toddlers may also be nervous about the dentist’s chair with bright lights and instruments. Hold them still and smile a lot. Be supportive and encouraging.
Prepare Your Child Psychologically for the Appointment
You’ll likely schedule appointments with the children’s dentist around twice a year. A good way to keep the positive experience fresh in their minds is to talk about it. Statements like, “That’s the giraffe you bought after the dentist’s visit,” or “Do you want to wear the pants we got you after the dental appointment?” You can also try various other tactics to prepare your child for the teeth cleaning. Here are some of them:
- Make a casual visit to our clinic without an appointment a few days ahead of schedule. Allow your children to spend time in the waiting room playing for a short while. This time will familiarize them with the area and toys in it. On the day of the appointment, you can talk about the fun the kids had so they’re excited and happy to return. Make the association between the dental clinic and particular activity the child enjoyed.
- Like our pediatric dentist in Calgary explains, even if you think the children are too young to understand, explain the cleaning process. Give a demonstration using a toy so the kids know exactly what to expect. Begin with discussions a few days ahead and build up to the actual appointment day.
- Arrive ahead of time. It also helps if you don’t have any other tasks planned for the day. You’ll feel relaxed and unhurried and relay your ease to the child. Make sure your child has the time to play and settle it until it is time for the procedure.
- The kids’ dentist at our clinic in Calgary will take the time to hold out each instrument and explain what it does. She may also name each one like Whirry Head or Pointy Head. Playing games with mirror reflections and the sippy cup adds to the fun factor.
- Bring a much-loved toy along so she feels secure. Or, bring along a familiar book that your kids can spend time reading while they wait for their turn.
Make Dental Treatments an Interactive Session
The best way to keep a child busy and interested is to involve him in the proceedings. For this reason, our children’s dentist encourages kids to ask questions about the tools and how they work. Little patients are welcome to handle the safer tools and perhaps, hand them to the dentist. Keeping kids distracted also works. Doctors and the nurse may initiate a conversation about a favorite movie or cartoon character. Any specific food or drink that a superhero likes can also be the topic of discussion. Before patients realize it, the cleaning is complete.
Here’s another idea. Does your child adore a superhero? Allow them to dress up like one for the dental appointment where they have to train how to use the instruments and defeat the teeth monsters. Use water jets to blast the bad guys out of space. And, brandish drills to drag them out of their hiding spaces for punishment. When working with kids, our pediatric dentist in Calgary is also happy to get creative.
Recognize Your Child’s Fears and Address Them
In place of telling kids not to be afraid, a more practical solution is to ask about what they’re feeling and work around that. For example, is a red chair the problem? Substituting it with a blue chair or covering it with a blue drape fixes the hesitation. Sometimes, letting kids hold a cherished object can make them feel secure about sitting through the process without complaining. Parents can also allow their kids to choose the day of the week when they would like to go for the appointment with the pediatric dentist in Calgary. Little adjustments like these make kids feel more in control of the situation and involved in the decision-making process. You’ll also want to schedule the appointment for a time when your child is relaxed and rested. For instance, pick a time after the child has had a nap or right after lunch when they’ve eaten. A tired and hungry child is more likely to get upset and cranky.
Always Reward a Successful Cleaning Session at the Kids’ Dentist
Since dental visits are a regular thing, it’s best that kids see something good coming out of it. Set up a rewards system that young patients can earn for good behavior. Choose any reward that the child is sure to appreciate. Like, for instance, a new book or toy, a favorite movie collectible, or a superhero tee. As the parent, trust your instincts to know how to make your kids happy. You’d be surprised to know that the incentive for visiting the children’s dentist need not be expensive, just something exciting. For instance, a golden star sticker placed on a hand. Or, a princess tiara for the best teeth.
Turn the Appointment into a Fun Activity
While visiting the pediatric dentist in Calgary is the highlight of the day, you must transform the entire day and make it about fun and games. Plan a day in the park or have a picnic. You could also work out a trip to the zoo or aquarium right after the appointment with the dentist. The best thing a parent can do is to make a connection between fun and a teeth cleaning session. When kids have something else planned for the day, they’ll be happy to get the checkup out of the way quickly. You could also turn the ride to and from the clinic into a game. Start the game at home and continue through the car ride. Keep playing as you wait at the clinic of the pediatric dentist in Calgary. And, pick up where you left off right after the procedure is complete. If your child starts to get antsy, distract them by talking about the game.
Caregivers Can Create the Right Impression of the Kids’ Dentist
Taking proper care of your teeth is highly essential for a lifetime of overall good health and wellness. As parents and caregivers, it is up to you to create the right perception in your kids toward getting professional care. The best thing you can do is find a great pediatric dentist in Calgary. Look for an expert who has the special skills for making the experience stress-free.
A good place to start is the Macleod Trail Dental clinic in Calgary. Spend time with Dr. Jennifer Silver and talk to her about bringing your kids. She’ll advise you best on how to ease children into getting dental procedures. You can call us at this number: (403) 253-1248 and talk to a team member. Or, find the Contact us page and add your details and query. We’ll get back to you with all the additional information you need.
- Pediatric Dental Visits: Tips for A Positive Experience
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- 8 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists
- Easing Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist
Dr. Jennifer Silver is one of the top dental surgeons practicing in Calgary, Alberta using an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to helping her patients. She believes in offering expert advice and make recommendations to patients just as she would to a family member. Dr. Silver collaborates with a large network of specialists and taps into their expertise to provide holistic care.
Dr. Jennifer Silver has earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her academic qualifications include deans honours list, an oral surgery award and best research project. Before attaining this degree, she graduated with honors from Dalhousie University’s Dental Hygiene Program and worked in the sphere of dentistry for 10 years. Dr. Silver is currently helping patients with dental issues such as TMJ pain and sleep apnea in addition to dentistry. She is keenly interested in constantly upgrading her skills and hopes to gain additional training in oral surgery in the future.