Regular dental checkups are important for everybody in the family, especially when you consider the risks associated with undetected or ignored dental issues. Dental disease alone causes children to miss more than 50 million hours of school each year. Even so, younger patients aren’t always likely to appreciate the importance of a trip to a family dentist in Chesapeake VA. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make dental visits less stressful and more productive.
Plan Checkups Ahead of Time
When possible, schedule dental appointments ahead of time so you won’t be trying to juggle a bunch of tasks at once. By scheduling in advance, you’ll have time to prepare for visits. Also consider making appointments at a time when you know you won’t be busy with other things like getting ready for back to school.
Check Your Stress at the Door
If you’re stressed during a dental visit, odds are your child will also be on edge. Do your best to remain relaxed and calm. Even if your child is somewhat anxious, seeing that you are relaxed will likely ease their apprehension.
Time of Day Matters
Some kids will be tired during early morning appointments and others will be exhausted after a long day of school. Consider what time of day tends to work best for your kids before you schedule your appointments.
Let One Child Be a ‘Role Model’
If you’re taking more than one kid to the dentist, pick the old who usually behaves best to go first. Younger kids, in particular, tend to take cues from older kids who know how to handle a dental visit.
Don’t Go to Visits Hungry
Children often get cranky when hungry. A light snack prior to appointments can minimize such distractions. Just avoid eating in the waiting room so your kids won’t have a bunch of stuff in their teeth.
Become a Partner with Your Dentist
Great dental check-ups involve teamwork. If your child is anxious or acting up, let your dentist try to calm them down. Jump in where you think it’s necessary. Also give your kids a chance to get to know their dentist to further ease anxiety.
Keep Contact Info Handy
Your family dentist is available anytime you need assistance, not just during regular visits. Keep contact info for your dentist handy so you’ll be able to call if there’s a dental emergency or even if you just have a few questions.
Encourage Healthy Brushing Habits
Reduce the odds of unexpected surprises during dental visits by encouraging good tooth brushing habits at home. Here’s a general guideline:
- Kids Under Six: New molars are coming in, so kids under six will need some guidance to make sure they brush where they need to reach.
- Kids 7-12: Kids within this age group usually know what they’re doing, but they’ll need some gentle reminders to stick to a regular brushing schedule.
- Teens: Older children tend to get busy with many other priorities, so provide occasional reminders to keep up the good brushing habits.
A trip to the family dentist in Chesapeake VA doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be a source of much-appreciated peace of mind. At RB Comprehensive Dentistry, we look forward to providing the attentive care you and your family deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.