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Remember the round Looney Tunes sticker you used to get every time you visited the dentist as a child? Thanks to an explosive increase in sugary treats, snacks and convenience foods all marketed at kids the American Dental Association is reporting that even five-year-olds are having to have fillings, root canals and even extractions! However, it's vital that children brush their teeth properly and attend regular dental check-ups from two.
A Child-Friendly Practice
If this is your son, or daughter’s very first trip to the dentist you might want to consider choosing a practice that’s more suitable. Even the most brightly colored walls, bevy of toys and friendly singing teeth aren’t going to distract your child from the fact it’s a dental practice, so one way to avoid any last minute wobbles is to visit beforehand. A behind-the-scenes tour, so to speak, is also useful for gauging how the staff treat kids. Are they friendly, welcoming and bend down to child level to talk to your son, or daughter?
While emergency dentist locations and treatment options are a good bet for adults kids teeth are very different to ours, and unless a significant percentage of your regular / emergency dentist’s patients are children, it’s probably best that you look for somewhere that specializes in pediatric dentistry.
Don’t Be Embarrassed To Speak Up
Some children have glorious pearly white milk teeth while others tend to look more soft cream or even slightly yellow. Try not to worry about the state of your child’s mouth as long as they’re brushing regularly and having junk food only in moderation everything should be ok. If you’re aware of any hereditary issue like soft teeth, receding gums or a propensity towards an overbite let the dentist know, similarly do mention if your child sucks their thumb or uses a pacifier as if there’s an issue your dentist can recommend several treatments to wean your toddler off these self-comfort methods.
Fact Vs Fiction
Lots of kid’s dentists like to use videos, models and finger puppets to explain what’s going on as well as encouraging children to learn the brushing song, or sing ‘Happy Birthday’ three times to themselves slowly as that’s how long it should take to thoroughly brush all their teeth. The dental nurse will also be on hand to help distract your child with the story of ‘princess pearly white’ and the ‘naughty cavity’ who makes holes in your teeth and how you can beat him by eating lots of fruit and veggies and drinking water, not soda pop. It might be that your child is, in fact, there for treatment and if so the dentist should go through everything step by step, explaining exactly what they’re going to do while ensuring your child has a stuffed toy to hold.
It’s A Lucky Dip
These days, dental offices have moved on from stickers and now offer kids ‘prizes’ for attending their dental appointments. Obviously, there won’t be any tasty treats on offer, but they do have finger puppets, mini coloring books, key chains and story books. It’s important that kids aren’t nervous or afraid of the dentist in any way and these goody bags will help!
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