Keeping your teeth young
About Me
Keeping your teeth young

As we get older suddenly we realised many things we didn't appreciate about being young - being fit, having smooth skin and having all your own teeth. As our loose teeth (and bridges) struggle to deal with chewier food we start eating bland mush and, there is no easy way to say this, OLD PEOPLE FOOD. I'm determined not to let that happen to me and I'm doing everything I can to keep my own teeth as long as possible, and when that's not possible to get the best possible teeth replacement. If you are like me and want to keep on eating whatever you want, I think you'll like my site. It's all about dental health and teeth replacement & maintenance.

Keeping your teeth young

How to Prepare For a Child's First Dental Appointment

Mabel Hicks

Visiting the dentist for the first time can be a little intimidating for some children, especially if they don't know what to expect. Often, they are thrown into a new environment where a stranger tries to poke around in their teeth. It's no wonder that some kids play up or refuse to open their mouths at all. To make things easier for you, your little one and your dentist, take some time to prepare them for the first visit.

Make the Dentist Part of Everyday Life

Some children are wary of new experiences, and you may find that they settle down with a dentist more easily if you introduce the concept of dentistry to them gradually before they need their own check-ups.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through play. For example, the following tips may be useful:

  • Try to find some age-appropriate books about visiting the dentist and read them to your child regularly. You should, however, avoid books for older children that address any fears they may have so as not to introduce the idea that some kids are scared of dentists.
  • Play dentist games with your kids. Get them to open their mouths and give them a check-up, say by counting their teeth. Then let them give you a check-up. To make opening the mouth more of a game, encourage them to open up by roaring like a lion. If your child then gets shy in the surgery and refuses to open up for the dentist, you may be able to prompt them to cooperate by getting them to roar.

It's also a good idea to take kids along to your routine check-ups, if you can. If kids see that their parents are happy and comfortable in the dentist's chair, they're likely to have fewer issues when they go along themselves. This also gives them a chance to get to know your family dentist.

Warning: It's not necessarily a great idea to take young children along if you're having treatment. The sight and sound of drills, tubes and injection needles may freak them out rather than make them feel comfortable.

Mind Your Language

Kids are very good at picking up on their parent's anxieties and their use of language. If you're a little scared of dentists, try to hide this from your children. They are way more likely to worry about something if they know that their parents worry about it.

It's also important to use positive rather than negative language when preparing for a check-up. Your child may not actually be at all worried about going to the dentist to start with. But, if you then tell them not to worry because it won't hurt, they'll wonder why you're mentioning pain. If they start to associate pain with the dentist, they may become less willing to go for a check-up.

Other Preparation Tips

According to the Better Health Channel, it's a good idea to make appointments for young children at a time when they aren't tired. For example, they may be more perky and cooperative during an early morning appointment than in one at the end of the day when they are tired and grumpy. It's also a good idea to arrive in good time for your first check-up. This gives your child a chance to get used to the clinic environment and to play with toys or games in the waiting room before they see the dentist.