Children are often a little nervous about seeing the dentist. Especially older kids that haven’t ben regularly, as the sights and sounds can be a little overwhelming. However, there are steps you can take as a parent to help prepare your child for a visit. From calmly explaining what to expect to avoiding certain (often well-meaning) phrases, you can help ensure your little one is ready for his/her dental checkup!
When Should I Bring My Child?
We recommend children see the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Just like adults, children need checkups and cleanings to maintain healthy smiles and to avoid the onset of serious and uncomfortable oral health concerns. As for the initial visit, your child’s first trip to the dentist should occur within six months of the first baby tooth erupting. From there, routine visits will be needed. In addition to oral health benefits, these visits can also help curb dental anxiety, as children become accustomed to seeing a dental professional twice a year.
What Will Happen During the Visit?
During the first visit, the doctor will examine the smile and make sure the teeth are erupting properly. During the subsequent visits, the doctor will watch for warning signs of possible problems, such as tooth decay, infection, or developing misalignment. Identifying problems in the early stages can allow the doctor to treat them before major discomfort forms. A cleaning can also help brighten teeth, freshen the breath, and reduce the risk of gingivitis and cavities.
Phrases and Words to Avoid
We know you want to reassure your child, but don’t talk about pain or discomfort, even in the context of the dentist being “pain-free” the mere mention of the word can make the child feel nervous. Just tell them, succinctly, that the dentist will look at their teeth and make sure they are healthy. We’re happy to take things from there!
Ready to Schedule a Visit for Your Little One?
At Lawson Family Dentistry, our team is ready to provide a calm and comfortable dental experience. Dr. Lawson and her team proudly welcome patients of all ages from Urbandale, IA, as well as Johnston, Grimes, Waukee, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, please call our Urbandale office today at (515) 278-4366.