5 Recommendations For a Child's Dental Visit
A lifetime of good oral hygiene habits can be fostered when children have positive experiences during dental visits. Follow these 5 recommendations and set the course for your child’s oral health.
1. Prepare children emotionally and mentally before their visit
Let your children know what to expect when they visit the dentist. Describe the office setup, let them know who they will meet, and explain why they need to see a dentist, before you arrive. Visit Kids Health for some creative ways to talk to your children.
2. Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments
Children from birth to 16 years of age will benefit the most from systemic fluoride. Sixteen is currently the age at which the American Dental Association recommends children can discontinue fluoride vitamin supplements. This is because when fluoride is ingested, it circulates through the bloodstream and into developing teeth. The fluoride is then built into the enamel structure of the developing tooth, making the tooth more resistant to acids.
3. Consider Sealants
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years. The AAPD recommends sealants as an effective method for cavity prevention, especially for those children with a history of tooth decay. In addition, sealants are one of the most cost-effective means of preventing cavities – they cost less than half of what one filling costs!
4. Give your dentist feedback and ask questions
Inform the dentist of any concerns or questions you may have. If need be, make a list and bring it with you. Your dentist will happily answer your questions concerning your child’s bite, brushing habits or diet. After the exam, your dentist or hygienist will make recommendations for future scheduling and suggest preventative measures to ensure your child’s best overall oral health. Ask questions if the suggestions are unclear to you.
5. Congratulate them!
Visiting the dentist, especially for the first time, can be an emotional experience for children. Begin fostering good oral hygiene habits by letting them know they did a great job. Take the opportunity to begin the dental routine suggestions right away and congratulate them for taking care of their teeth.