If you're new to motherhood, you may be wondering why you should be thinking about visits to the dentist right now. You have plenty of time before you need to think about such things, right?
Well, many babies' teeth start coming through around the age of six months, and the earlier you start to take care of your child's oral health, the better. Visiting dentists will be an important part of your child's oral health care. This guide will give you three great tips you can use to ensure your child's future dentist visits are free from fear.
Play is an excellent way to introduce many things to your child. Playing at being dentists will make your child's first visit to a dentist an experience they are likely to be excited about.
Take turns at being the dentist, using a toothbrush as a dental tool. Lay back and allow your child to brush your teeth and poke about. After this, you can take your turn. This kind of play can be useful for more than just preventing fear. It will allow you to reach your child's back teeth with a toothbrush, while also allowing you to inspect their teeth thoroughly. While not entirely necessary, it may be a good idea to wash your child's hands before you let them poke around in your mouth.
Whenever you talk about dentistry to your child, do so in an excited voice. In the early years, children often listen to tone more than they do words. Tell them about fun things that might happen when they visit a dentist, such as a ride in the chair that moves up and down, sunglasses that they'll get to wear, and special-tasting water that they get to spit in a tiny little sink.
If you are fearful of visiting dentists yourself, it's even more important to speak in an excited tone. If your voice drops whenever you mention dentists, they will sense any apprehension you may feel and internalise it.
Many children's dentists give out a small toy or a fun toothbrush as a reward for good behaviour. Add to this by making the day special — arrange to go somewhere fun after the visit. Attaching a fun outing will build upon the work you've done to make a dentist visit a positive experience.
Be careful with the words you use when discussing the after-visit excursion. Try not to make the dentist seem like somewhere to be endured for a reward. Remember, you're trying to make the dentist a fun place to visit. Contact your local children's dentistry office today to learn more.