It’s important to have your child’s oral health looked at frequently, especially because their mouth (and teeth) are growing rapidly. The summertime is often less busy at our clinics, with patients away on vacation or out enjoying the nice weather. Still, now that it’s almost time for the kids to get back into school, many parents will want to book a dental checkup before things begin getting hectic again. Parents will also want to have a successful back to school dental checkup at that.
Sometimes kid’s dental hygiene routine can slip a bit during vacation, so a dental visit is a great way to get that back on track. Many schools recommend parents get their children a check-up before the new year starts to minimize missed school days. Protecting your child’s smile is a back-to-school must-have and it’s up to parents (and dentists) to make sure kids put their best smile forward.
Here’s how to make your back to school dental checkup successful:
Many things are going on, and the task of dental checkups with kids can be a bit of a hassle. It is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to get your kids ready for back to school, so keep reading and learn about what you can do to make your next appointment a successful one.
You’re not the only one who needs to get their child a check-up before school starts, and you might find that your dentist’s schedule is getting filled up. That’s why you need to book in advance and avoid the rush of getting an appointment just before going back to school. Having an appointment booked in advance also makes for much easier planning and better time management – something every parent knows are very important aspects of life with kids.
We recommend choosing family-friendly appointment times, if possible. When that is will depend on your regular routine, but often mid-morning appointments work great. That’s because even younger children won’t be hungry or tired yet, and their mood is usually light. The last thing you want is a hungry, tired and cranky child during a dental check-up, so think about what time would work best for your family and book accordingly.
Dental visits can be stressful for kids and parents, so anything you can do to alleviate some of the pressure is good.
The best way to have a cavity-free checkup is to ensure your kids clean their teeth correctly. We know that vacation makes chores seem all the more difficult, but this is one part of the daily routine that shouldn’t be forgotten. Get your kids brushing twice daily and flossing once if they’re old enough to do so, and if not, you’ll have to help. This is especially important for older kids with their adult teeth coming because they are at a very vulnerable stage.
Even if you’re feeling the pressure of taking your kids to the dentist, it’s important that your kids feel relaxed. Nothing makes for a disastrous trip to the dentist like anxious and nervous kids, so you need to chill and radiate positive vibes yourself. Remember, oral health care is for life, so you’ll want your kids to enjoy the process and not be scared.
To help keep kids relaxed about the dentist, you should always positively portray dental care and help stop your kid’s mind from coming up with all the scary things that “could” await by explaining what the dentist is all about.
You can also try to incorporate the dentist into another activity. For example, instead of just going to the dentist, you could go to the mall, where there will be a dentist appointment, but there will also be a trip to the toy store or maybe even a movie.
Be creative, but positivity and distraction are great tools to help your kids avoid being frightened of visiting the dentist.
There are lots of reasons your kids might dig in their heels when it’s time to visit the dentist, but you need to keep calm and not freak out no matter what. Younger kids often require physical and emotional assistance at the dentist’s office. Our dentists are great with kids, so we recommend letting your dentist (who has been in this situation hundreds of times before) try to keep your child calm.
Sometimes, even a professional hand isn’t enough; parents must be prepared to help with the appointment. Encouragement, comfort, and, if needed, a little bribery can go a long way to making it through the appointment without a major blowout. Often, just the presence of the mom or dad is enough to keep a child comfortable and confident during a visit.
Parents must know what’s going on with their child’s teeth. This means asking how things look and being proactive about any concerns, like forming cavities, that might turn up. Early prevention is the best way to avoid lengthy and expensive dental care, so decide to fix things early on. If there’s a possibility your child might need orthotics to keep their smile coming in straight, make sure you consult with your dentist and book follow-up appointments regularly.
Does your child need professional cleaning? Do they need an x-ray? Should the dentist inspect their mouthguard or orthodontic appliance if they already have one? There are no dumb questions; the more informed you are as a parent, the better.
The techniques involved in brushing and flossing can be a challenge for children to grasp. Additionally, many children dislike these oral care routines, often leading to inadequate brushing and flossing in terms of duration and effectiveness.
Consequently, this can result in dental issues during childhood and early adolescence that may persist for an extended period.
To promote the development of proper oral hygiene habits, scheduling routine dental check-ups for your child is essential. These visits verify that your child is brushing and flossing correctly and provide parents with added assurance, especially as the new school year begins.
Dental check-ups are about:
2. Getting clean
3. Plan for the future
4. Overall health
Regardless of whether you’ve visited the dentist with your child in the past, there are several key questions that you should always pose to ensure that your child has the most positive and comfortable experience possible.
Knowing how to have a successful back to school dental checkup is all about being prepared and being aware of what to expect as parents. Set yourself up properly with the right appointment time, set the tone by prepping your child’s expectations, and have a plan to right the ship if things go smoothly.
It’s also important to do the behind-the-scenes work of speaking to your dentist before and after the appointment to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to your child’s dental health.
Please contact us for all inquiries or to book an appointment with one of our convenient clinic locations. We look forward to hearing from you.