Preparing your Child for a Trip to the Dentist
January 8, 2020
Dr. Katherine Nicholson
At Carolina General & Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand that sometimes children can be filled with apprehension and even fear as they prepare for a trip to the dentist. At CGCD, we strive to help every member of your family feel calm and comfortable in our office. We believe that when you are prepared, everyone feels less scared! Here are some things that you can expect from your child’s visit to the dentist.
We recommended that your child’s first visit start around 12 months or within six months of the first tooth coming in. Try to schedule your child’s appointment early in the day. This allows them to feel fresh and alert. As their parent or guardian, you are welcome to come back and sit with the child during the appointment. Remember your energy is key; if you are calm and relaxed, they will be too!
We’ll start by making your child feel very comfortable and finding out more about them. Next, we’ll take a look at your child’s teeth, jaws, bite, gums and oral tissue to check for proper development. A light cleaning may be done. For children around 5-6 years old we would likely take an x-ray (or “pictures” as we like to call them). Younger children do not necessarily need an x-ray unless there are signs of possible tooth decay. Lastly, we’ll share helpful tips for how they can keep their teeth healthy at home.
We recommend you make regular six-month appointments for your children. This way, your children develop healthy dental habits and comfort with the exam. Also, we are able to keep a close eye on the health of their teeth and gums. Should your child ever develop a dental emergency, know that our goal is to keep them comfortable, calm and relaxed every step of the way.
Once you are at home, here are some ways that you can continue to help protect your children’s teeth:
Before your child’s teeth come in, clean their teeth with a damp cloth.
After age 3 use a pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste and encourage them to learn to brush their teeth on their own twice a day. As they get older, encourage flossing at least before bedtime.
Use a timer to make sure kids brush for at least 2 minutes, or play their favorite song to help them keep track of time.
Let your child pick out their own toothpaste and toothbrush, this makes it fun!
Daily, try to limit sweets and sugary drinks.
At Carolina General & Cosmetic Dentistry, our goal is to provide patients of all ages with expert, oral care in a comfortable, welcoming environment. Dr. Nicholson and all of our staff will help safeguard your family’s oral health as well as maintain healthy dental habits. Give us a call, and one of our friendly team members will help set up your child’s next professional exam.