Whether you have been taking your child to a pediatric dentist for years or your child has never stepped foot in a dentist’s office, the first of the year is the best time to have your child undergo a complete oral health examination and routine dental cleaning. To help relieve some of your anxiety and stress about taking your child to a pediatric dentist, we will take a look at what you can expect to happen during an oral health exam and routine dental cleaning.
Your Child’s First Dental Cleaning
Your child may feel scared, anxious, or stressed about visiting the dentist especially if he or she has never been to the dentist or it has been a number of years since their last appointment. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help relieve some of your child’s fears about the dentist.
Some tips for first-time dental cleaning patients include:
- Talk openly with your child about what to expect when visiting the dentist. Discuss what will happen and why they are going.
- Listen to your child and encourage him or her to talk about their fears. Encourage your child to ask questions about their visit to the pediatric dentist.
- Read your child books about visiting the dentist
- Watch your child’s favorite TV show. Many children’s television programs have an episode dedicated to talking about going to the dentist
- Make the visit to the dentist fun by having your child pick out their favorite outfit, choose a new toothbrush or try flavored toothpaste
In some situations, pediatric dentists may even allow you to come to the office before the appointment for a short tour. This allows your child to see where they will be going, get a feel for the equipment, and even meet the staff.
Even if you can’t schedule an appointment to tour the office before the visit, you can let the office staff know that this is your child’s first trip to the dentist. The staff at pediatric dental offices will do their best to make your child feel welcome, safe, and unafraid.
Pediatric Dentistry Patients that are Returning for a Routine Dental Cleaning
If your child has already gone to the pediatric dentist, he or she may not be as stressed and anxious about their upcoming appointment. However, that doesn’t mean you should assume they don’t have any problems.
Before returning to the dentist for a dental cleaning, do the following things:
- Talk to your child about their previous visit to the dentist. Remind them they are familiar with the staff and the equipment.
- Make it fun. Try and give your child a fun little incentive for their dental cleaning. Incentives can be anything from a trip to their favorite restaurant for dinner or the ability to pick a sticker out at the end of the appointment.
- Talk to your child about why they are going and why it is important to their overall oral health.
- Share your experiences about going to the dentist and how you go for a regular dental cleaning, too
What to Expect During the Appointment
To fully prepare your child for their appointment with the dentist, you must know what to expect. The following is a general outline of what will happen during your child’s routine oral examination and dental cleaning:
- Visual examination of the jaw, bite, gums, and teeth
- An examination that looks for any visible signs of tartar buildup, plaque, and staining
- X-rays may be taken to verify if there are any cavities or if teeth are growing in properly
- Professional dental cleaning of your child’s teeth
- Assessment of your child’s risk factors for things such as periodontal disease, cavities, and gingivitis
- Dental staff will show your child how to properly brush and floss their teeth
- Fluoride rinses may be administered to help build up your child’s teeth and keep them healthy and strong
Start the year off right by scheduling an appointment for your child at Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. We specialize in offering a variety of dental services ranging from routine checkups and dental cleanings to repairing teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay and managing gum disease, to children of all ages. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.