At Young Dentistry, we love to see kids and their parents. With kids we recommend they be seen before their first birthday.
It may be for just a quick look and to give parents some advice on how to care for their little one’s teeth. It is important however to begin to clean and monitor a child’s teeth as soon as he or she gets his or her first tooth (usually at six to nine months of age). By monitoring and controlling sugar intake in the early years, tooth decay in primary teeth can be minimized or avoided. Allowing your baby to fall asleep with a bottle of sweetened liquid during naps or at night is highly discouraged and can especially harm his or her teeth. If you suspect tooth decay, which can look like brown or chalky-white discolouration, please call us.
- Try playing “dentist”. Count your child’s teeth, then switch roles and let him or her count yours.
- Explain other things that may happen at the dentist’s office, using non-technical language. For instance say, “The dentist might take some pictures of your teeth with a special camera”.
- Bring your child along to your or other family members’ check ups and cleanings – treat the appointment as routine. This allows a familiarization of the office and process.
- Let your child bring his or her favourite stuffed toy along.
Despite great advances in oral health, cavities do unfortunately still occur. If your child requires a filling, here are some tips:
- A first filling or other dental procedure is an experience that can create a healthy attitude towards any future procedures, so a positive approach is important.
- Be honest with children when asked questions, but don’t over explain it. You can tell them ‘You have a little hole in your tooth that the dentist is going to fix. It will be very easy and he will show you everything he is going to do’. The doctor and assistant have lots of experience explaining things in an easy to understand, non-intimidating way.
- When discussing the appointment with the child, avoid words like ‘hurt’, ‘pain’, or ‘needle’ even if it is in the form of ‘It’s not going to hurt’. Simply hearing these words might upset them unnecessarily. With topical numbing gels, nitrous oxide and local anesthetic, children’s dentistry does not hurt. The child may feel a small pinch with the anesthetic injection, but quite often he or she is unaware of it altogether.
- We have had great success when parents remain in the waiting room during the procedure. If you choose to be in the room, it is important to not give instructions or otherwise communicate with the child. It can often confuse the child and make them reluctant to follow the dentist or assistant’s instructions.