Positive experiences at the dentist can mean a lot for young children. At this time, their dental routines and opinions are still forming. Getting good dental care at a young age can be a little challenging, because there aren't as many ways for young children to communicate their symptoms. And on the other side, children will need some help following dental instructions after their appointment. Here are some ways you can help on both sides.
Eliminate the Fear Barrier
One barrier to effective dental visits is fear. If your child is afraid of the dentist, they might clam up and won't be able to provide much information to the doctor. Choosing a family dentistry clinic, like DSW Dental, may be helpful, since these dentists are used to working with patients of all ages. Take a look at the clinic and be sure it is child-friendly and welcoming. Your support at the dentist visit will also matter, so don't forget to arrive relaxed and smiling with your child. And even despite a little uncertainty about the doctor's visit, a nice reward afterwards can soothe some nerves.
Talk to Your Child Before the Appointment
For young children, prepping them for the dentist appointment is a great idea. For one, that would include walking them through what the dental evaluation is going to be like. That way, when the family dentist gives some instructions or asks questions, your child is more prepared to cooperate with the appointment. You could also try to find out what problem areas your child is dealing with in their dental health. You might quiz them on good dental hygiene habits. Or, you could ask them if any parts of their mouth have been bothering them before they get to the appointment. You can probably communicate with your child better than anyone else, so you may be able to get more specific information from your child that will help guide the dental evaluation.
Get Instructions Written Down
Likely, your family dentist will provide written instructions for anything they recommend during the appointment. That is very helpful since, in the moment, your child may not understand or may forget what the dentist tells them to do. As a parent, it's important that you help your child stay on top of these instructions. Your dentist might catch an area where your child is forgetting to brush, but without your help, your child might forget to change their brushing habits.