Some children are particularly reluctant to even brush and floss their teeth every day, let alone see a dentist on a regular basis. Yet, their parents often want to overcome this resistance so that their children don’t develop preventable oral health issues. These suggestions may help you to get your child to become more accepting and even enthusiastic about dental care.
Seek treatment from a pediatric dentist: When the problem is dental anxiety, working with a dentist who specializes in caring for children can help to ease that fear. Our dentists can use different techniques with a child than they would with adult patients, and our offices are designed to meet the needs of youngsters.
Take your child to see the pediatric dentist BEFORE a problem comes up: Children should see a dentist for routine care just like their parents should. Ideally, a child should first see a dentist by his or her first birthday, which can help to establish the relationship. If you wait until a problem occurs to schedule the child’s first dental visit, the child may come to associate the dentist with the symptoms being experienced at that time. In such cases, it’s easy to understand how they might come to fear a trip to the dental office!
Let your child take charge: Your child can manage simple tasks like choosing a toothbrush and cup for rinsing. A child who feels some ownership of the oral hygiene routine is more likely to stick to it. Whenever appropriate, let your child take responsibility for tasks like brushing and flossing. Our pediatric dentists can advise you of the ages at which children are usually capable of mastering these tasks.
Use a gentle technique with your child’s oral hygiene tasks: Before your child is able to take care of his or her own teeth, you can gently wipe down the gums with a washcloth or brush a child’s teeth with a soft bristled brush.
Our dentists can give you other tips to help overcome a child’s resistance to dental care and oral hygiene. Feel free to call our office to discuss this topic with one of our knowledgeable staff members and to schedule a check-up for your child.