Video:Children and Going to the Dentistwith Kathy Moore
Cavities start early and so should visits to the dentist. With the proper preparation, your children won't fear going to the dentist and they'll maintain the good habit of regular visits for the rest of their lives.See Transcript
Transcript:Children and Going to the DentistHi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting.
When should Dentist Visits Begin?More than 25 percent of children in the United States have cavities by the time they are 4 years old, sometimes as early as age 2. Regular dental checkups are one way to help your child maintain good oral health. This program offers some ideas on how to prepare your child for that first trip to the dentist and what you and your child should expect.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children receive a dental exam after their first birthday. However some dentists, including our own, recommend that the first visit does not need to occur until around age 3. Whatever advice you choose to follow, a trip to the dentist does not need to be scary.
Prepare your Child for Dentist VisitsTo prepare our 3 year old, we role-played going to the dentist to get her used to opening her mouth wide so the dentist could see all her teeth.
You can talk to your child about what will happen at the dentist's office. Explain that there will be a waiting room with books and maybe toys, just like at the doctor's office. Then, a dental hygienist will examine and clean her teeth. After that, the dentist will come in and count her teeth and check to make sure that all of her teeth are strong and healthy. The dentist may even want to perform a brushing demonstration.
Consult your DentistIt is a good idea to consult your dentist about how often your child should have a checkup and it never hurts to ask for ideas on promoting good dental habits.
Dentist Visit RewardsMost dentists provide small toys or a special toothbrush to kids at the end of their appointment, but if they do not, be prepared to offer something even as simple as a reward sticker or letting her choose what to have for lunch.
Setting a Dentist Visit HabitCreating a fun, positive experience for the first dentist visit will help set your child on the road to better oral hygiene. And remember, your child watches what you do, so be sure you do not forget to brush and floss.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at Parenting.About.com.