Secrets Every Parent Should Know About Taking Their Child to the Dentist

Regular trips to the dentist are imperative for your child’s dental health. Unfortunately, not everyone enjoys going to the dentist, and kids can be particularly reticent. However, prepared parents are better equipped with what they need to know for helping their child have a successful and fun trip to the dentist.

Want to become one of those prepared parents? Read on to learn what you should know about taking your child to the dentist.

Why It’s Important to Take Your Child to the Dentist

Some people may figure that children will lose their baby teeth anyway, so what’s the point of taking them to the dentist? However, poor dental health can have serious consequences on children — and not just in their mouth.

For example, cavities and tooth decay can cause enough pain to distract children and keep them from concentrating well. Plus, baby teeth are the trailblazers leading the way for permanent teeth to come in. A child with healthy baby teeth is far more likely to enjoy healthy adult teeth later in life.

Plus, beginning proper oral health and hygiene habits early in life is key to excellent lifelong oral health. According to the CDC, over 23% of children aged two to five have dental caries, or cavities, in their baby teeth. That’s not a happy statistic. To prevent this, children should see a dentist every six months.

What’s special about Spinnaker?

General dentists and family dentists are happy to accept child patients, plus it can be convenient to send everyone in the family to the same dentist. However, not every dentist loves working with children enough to specialize in it like we do.

Kids are not miniature adults and can’t be treated as such. Instead, they need someone who knows how to get down on their level, understand their nervousness about visiting the dentist, and put them at ease.

Our primary goals for your child’s visit is for them to have a fun, relaxed visit at our office and receive the best quality in dental care to start them off right on the road to strong oral health.

Why Preparation for a Dental Appointment Is Important

For the first few dental appointments, kids will naturally be a little nervous. We don’t blame them! They have no idea what’s going to happen and may have heard negative comments from the adults around them who don’t enjoy visiting the dentist.

For this reason, it is important to prepare your child, especially for their first visit. Explain that the dentist is a friend who wants to keep your child safe and help prevent cavities so they won’t experience dental pain or even lose a tooth before it’s time.

Choosing the best dentist near you for your child’s first visit is critically important. The right dentist can make it a pleasant enough experience that your child will create positive associations with the dentist. We strive to make it fun enough that kids enjoy their visit and want to come back.

What should a parent and child expect at the first appointment?

Kids should see the dentist when their first tooth comes in or around one year old. This visit will generally involve a quick examination and maybe a light cleaning and polishing if necessary.

The appointment is typically short and involves more talking about your child’s dental health than actually cleaning teeth. It’s an opportunity for parents to learn how to best care for their child’s teeth as their child has a chance to meet the dentist and start getting used to the office.

Many dentists will employ a “knee to knee” examination technique. This means they will sit on a chair facing you with the child in your lap also facing you. From there, the child will lie back in the dentist’s lap so both of you can see in their mouth. Sitting with you will make your child feel more comfortable and will give you the opportunity to see things the dentist wants to point out to you. Don’t worry if your child cries during the appointment. That’s normal, and a pediatric dentist has plenty of tricks up their sleeve to help put them at ease once more.

Your child can enjoy a successful and fun trip to the dentist!

Learning how to prep your child for a dentist appointment might not be as difficult as you might have thought. The main thing is to choose a dentist for children in Salem, OR, who loves working with kids and has a knack for putting them at ease.

You won’t find that by simply googling “dentist office near me” and picking the top result. Instead, make an appointment with Spinnaker Dental, where your child will feel comfortable and confident during their trip to the dentist. To get started, schedule your child’s first appointment today!