Setting Your Family Up For A Lifetime of Positive Dental Habits
Don’t put off taking your child to the dentist. It’s important to instil positive oral hygiene from an early age, and this includes introducing your child to the dentist as soon as possible.
.It is recommended that children visit the dentist at least twice a year for a regular check-up, yet new research reveals that only 58.2% of children attended appointments over the space of a year.
There is a growing misconception amongst parents that children’s milk teeth don’t matter as much as their adult set, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that a quarter of British children already have tooth decay which could impact their gums and underlying bone health. Additionally, tooth decay has recently been revealed to be the number one cause of hospital admissions for children aged between 5 and 9, which puts pressure on the NHS with each tooth extraction costing them £850.
What Can Be Done?
Oral hygiene is really very simple for children. It starts by following positive dental habits at home such as regularly brushing their teeth for them twice a day, or supervising your child doing this activity.
Children must also begin seeing the family dentist for regular appointments. Ideally, this will happen as soon as your child’s first teeth start to break through the gums, which could be as early as five or six months old. If you’ve waited until a little later, then you may need to have a conversation with your child to prepare them for the visit, so they realise there’s nothing to worry about. Here are some tips to make sure this is a positive trip for them!
Be Aware Of Your Own Negativity
If your child overhears you talking with your partner about ‘dreading’ going to the dentist or any information that may put this trip in a negative light, then understandably they’ll start to develop their own nerves about this type of appointment. Make sure you only talk about the dentist in a positive way, making it clear that the visit will ensure we all have clean, healthy, sparkly teeth!
Preparing Your Child
Professional Essex dental experts suggest that there are plenty of library books or even episodes of Peppa Pig that can help to give your child an idea of what happens when they go for a check-up at the dentist. Using these creative ways to explain how you’ll sit in the dentist’s big chair and open your mouth up wide for them to check inside, are a fantastic way to get on your child’s wavelength and show them there’s nothing to be worried about.
Speaking To The Dentist
A professional dental team will have years of experience in dealing with children at the practice and will make this a calm and reassuring visit for your family. If your child appears to be nervous or shy in any way, then simply communicate this with your dentist.
At early appointments, your dentist may suggest that your child sits on your knee during the check-up and can offer rewards such as stickers which work as a wonderful bribe towards good behaviour.