As the new school year approaches, parents and their children start shopping for new backpacks, supplies, clothing, and shoes. As part of this effort to get their kids ready for school, parents also take them for routine medical exams to ensure they are healthy and vaccinations are up-to-date. Getting them to the dentist is also important in keeping your children smiling all year long.
The Importance of Back-to-School Dental Appointments
A visit to the dentist each year encourages a healthy smile for your child, and it provides these benefits:
. Dental problems are caught early
. Annual appointments become routine
. Dental pain is minimized
Avoid the rush at the dental office and make your children’s appointments as the school year ends. You’ll probably have to wait until the end of the summer, but at least your child won’t miss any school time.
Preparing Your Child for the Dental Visit
Even children who haven’t had dental problems experience anxiety when it’s time for their annual appointment. Use these tips to help prepare your child for the visit:
. Make sure that your child has a full night’s rest the night before to avoid irritability.
. Schedule the appointment after mealtimes because a hungry child is a cranky one.
. Schedule follow-up appointments early in the morning so that your child is well-rested.
Encouraging a Successful Visit
It’s natural for children to pick up on the emotions of their parents. If you experience dental anxiety, ask your spouse to take the children to the dentist for you. When this is not an option, avoid saying anything negative. If your child is returning for a follow-up appointment involving dental work, ask the dentist to explain the procedure to your child before beginning the procedure.
Handling an Uncooperative Child
If your child has a tendency to exhibit anxious behavior during new situations, make sure that you stop by the dental office for a brief visit the week before the appointment. Allow the child to walk around the waiting area, drink from the water cooler, and say hello to the receptionist. Tell your child the next visit includes a chance to sit in a special chair. When the time comes, allow the hygienist and/or dentist to carry the conversation with your child.
Encouraging a Healthy Smile at Home
Good dental hygiene at home is critical. Make sure you assist your child in brushing her teeth at least twice a day. Children are usually ready to brush on their own by the time they are in first grade, but parents should continue monitoring their efforts for a few more years to ensure they brush all of their teeth.
Taking your child to see the dentist prior to the start of school is a good way to avoid dental problems throughout the year, while also making this appointment part of the back-to-school routine. Cavities and other problems are discovered early, minimizing pain and time spent in the dental chair. It’s easy to keep your child smiling all year long with an annual dental appointment.
To schedule your child’s back-to-school exam, call (888) 400-4123.