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Secrets to a Great Checkup: Part Two

March 21, 2016

A trip to the dentist should be easy and painless for you and your child, so why not continue our series and finish up these great tips to help make your next trip a dentist’s dream rather than a nightmare:

Leave Your Anxiety at the Door
If your heart races at the very thought of the dentist, your child can probably tell. Kids pick up on parents’ anxiety. The younger your kids are, the more you need to be aware of how you’re communicating with them. For example, if your child asks about getting a cavity filled, don’t say, “It will only hurt for a little bit.” Instead, encourage your child to ask the dentist.

Keep Cool If Your Child Won’t Cooperate
If your child gets upset during her visit, the worst thing you can do is swoop them out of the chair and leave, because the next visit is going to be harder. First, assess why your child is acting out. Are they truly afraid, or are they trying to test the situation? Once you’ve figured it out, work as a team with your dentist to keep the visit going. Let the dentist lead the conversation. Jump in where you think it helps most, while still allowing the dentist and your child to build a good relationship.

Take a Card (or Three) on Your Way Out
Accidents can happen whether your child is in sports camp, gym class or just walking down the street. In case of emergency, make sure your child’s teachers and coaches have all the medical contact information they need – including your dentist’s number. Grab business cards for your wallet, your child’s backpack and your school’s files.

We hope that these tips help make your child’s early visits to the dentist easier, and allow for a wonderful experience that will reflect on how they view dental visits and procedures for the rest of their life.

Secrets to a Great Checkup: Part One

March 7, 2016

Prevention and early detection can help avoid pain, trouble eating, difficulty speaking, and school absences for your child. Here are some great tips to a successful dentist visit in the first of this month’s series:

Plan Ahead
There are certain times of the year that are extra busy for dentists, so it’s important to plan ahead. August is often a hectic time because school is starting, so planning a head is the best. Make it a habit to call when your child gets their spring report card each year.

Encourage Age-Appropriate Dental Habits at Home
For children ages six and under, your child might want to do all the brushing themselves, but they don’t have the fine motor skills to do a thorough job just yet. Let them start, and jump in as needed. From ages seven to twelve, your child knows what to do, but might not want to. Keep encouraging healthy brushing and flossing habits. From twelve to eighteen, this is a critical time for dental health, so don’t let your teen’s habits become out of sight, out of mind. Support and respect are important, because they’re not kids anymore.

Timing is Everything
The time of day can make or break your child’s appointment. Don’t schedule an appointment during regular naptime, and if your child is cranky after waking up, take that into consideration as well. Also, for older children, avoid cramming in a dentist appointment right after day camp or school. Not all kids have the energy to do that.

A Hungry Child Is Not a Happy Patient
Feed your child a light meal before the appointment. Hungry people are grouchy people. It’s also generally a good idea not to feed them in the waiting room before you see the dentist because there’s all that food in their mouth. Eating light is also better for a child with a healthy gag reflex. Bonus points if your child brushes before an appointment. It’s very polite!

Keep an eye out for the second blog in our series; you’ll be a visitation pro before your child can say “cheese!”