Taking your child to the dentist regularly is crucial for keeping their growing teeth healthy and strong, but kiddos usually do not appreciate the importance of oral health as much as their parents. Before you bring your kid into the dental office, you may have to lay some groundwork to prepare them for the appointment to ensure everything goes smoothly. Keep reading to find our top tips for getting your child ready for a visit to the family dentist in Irving!
#1: Start Early
While some kids mature faster than others, most are ready to visit the dentist for a checkup and cleaning before they turn three years old. It may seem very young, but starting these appointments early is important because it will help your child get used to the dentist and being in the dental office. When it is part of their routine, they can see there is nothing to fear from having their teeth checked out.
#2: Read Books
There are plenty of books made for children of various reading levels that focus on visiting the dentist. These can help your little one understand what usually happens during an appointment, and also that everyone needs to take care of their smiles. Read them together and answer any questions your little one may have as you read or after.
#3: Role Play
It can help to do a little scenario the day before a visit to the dentist if your child seems nervous. Tell her she can be the patient and you will be the dentist — have her lie back in a chair and take a brief peek in her mouth. Then, ask her basic questions about how often she brushes her teeth. Let her take a turn at being dentist, too, for fun.
#4: Set a Good Example
Over the long term, preparing your child for the dentist is easier if you yourself regularly attend appointments and use positive language surrounding dental care. If your son or daughter sees you dread having your teeth checked out, he or she will likely dread it, too. Remember, they are always listening to you… for better or worse!
#5: Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Dental appointments will be a breeze if you put in the work to practice good oral hygiene at home. That means brushing teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day, and flossing between teeth daily as soon as they touch each other. Your little one will be able to brush on their own around the time they can tie their shoes, but you should continue to monitor their tooth brushing until you are confident they are doing a thorough job every time. Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride to keep their teeth strong and healthy.
That’s it! Follow these tips and your little one will feel more confident heading into the dental office. Bring them in every six months for a checkup and cleaning and you’ll be doing your part to set them up with a healthy smile for life!
Meet the Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Rafiq Hirji is the dentist Irving parents trust with their favorite smiles. He and the team at Daily Smiles MacArthur offer exceptional care for little ones, from basic checkups and cleanings to braces and more. To learn more or to book an appointment, call the office at (972) 546-4114.