Keep Calm and Take Your Kids To The Dentist.

smiling-mom-kids

Unlike in decades past, most kids today have fun and positive experiences at their initial and ongoing dental visits. To a large extent, the attitude and feelings of a parent have a tremendous influence on their children’s experiences.
Dr. Ashley Olson feels having the little ones see their parents visit the dentist will go a long way.
“Little kids are like little sponges; they mirror our happiness, they mirror our sadness and they mirror our uncertainty,” Olson said. “This is important to keep in mind when thinking about your own feelings about seeing the dentist. Kids pick up on subtleties in the tone of our voice and even our facial expressions. Setting our kids up for the best possible experience at the dentist starts with parent’s communication (verbal and nonverbal) about it. We do not recommend promising your child a special treat if he or she behaves at the dentist, because doing so may only introduce apprehension. They may wonder, ‘What is so bad about the dentist that I might fuss or cry?’ Keep a positive, optimistic attitude, leaving any of your own negative feelings behind when discussing an upcoming dental visit with your child, and they will have nothing to fear or worry about.”
Olson also noted that having calm parents at the first visit can help the children stay calm as well, and lessen the amount of stress and anxiety.
“Generally, the rule of thumb is that children should have their first dental visit by their first birthday,” said Olson. “Early exposure to the dental team not only helps children feel comfortable, but also gives parents the opportunity to learn how to manage diet, hygiene and fluoride to limit their child’s risk for cavities.”
The goal of the first visit is for parents to learn about their child’s oral health and how to properly care for their child’s unique needs. At that initial visit, parents can discuss home care, teething and development, proper use of fluoride, oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, and factors that affect the risk of cavities.
At home, a parent can help a child’s dental health with the foods they provide. Avoiding sticky candies and even chewy raisins and dried fruit is key and sticking to fruits and vegetables, cheese, and other good sources of calcium is the way to go.
“Education and prevention are the keys to a child’s dental health,” added Olson. “Although baby teeth aren’t there forever, it is still very important to keep those teeth and gums as healthy as possible while they are holding space for future permanent teeth. Parents who start their kids early at the dentist are more likely to limit future dental problems and those kids are more likely to continue giving their oral health proper attention in their adult life.
“Forming habits early on, like regular dental visits and cleanings, brushing in the morning and at night and flossing, will set kids up for a lifetime of dental health.”
When your children see you brushing and flossing your teeth every day, establishing good habits for them will be infinitely easier. Don’t underestimate the power of setting a good example for your children.

For more information,
call Dr. D’Angelo & Dr. Olson
at 858-459-6224
1111 Torrey Pines Road
www.joethedentist.com

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