Comfortable children at the dentist – it’s possible!

Seeing your dentist every six months is crucial for staying on top of your dental health. This is no different for your kids. Often, these preventative visits are put on the back burner. Either due to lack of time or concern over how your child will cope at the dentist. The problem is, the longer you leave these visits to the dentist, the more likely your child may have undiagnosed teeth or gum problems. And in dentistry, the longer you leave dental issues, the more damage and chance that extensive treatment will be required.

So what can be done about this?

The issue of time comes down to your priorities. Did you know, Riverstone Family Dental has late weeknight and Saturday appointments? Give us a call on 8678 3538 and we can book you in. What’s more, this current generation of kids is fortunate enough to have access to a scheme called the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. This entitles eligible 2-17yo free dental treatment up to the value of $1000 over a 2 year period. Not sure if your child is eligible? With your consent, we can check with Medicare for you, give us a call on 8678 3538.

How about empowering our kids to not fear the dentist? Here I provide some tips for ensuring your child’s next dental visit is an absolute breeze!

Tip 1 – be a positive role model

Your kids are watching you and they learn by modelling your behaviour. If they see you looking after your teeth by brushing them and seeing your dentist every six months, then they are more likely to care about their oral health. It is always good to bring your children to your dental appointments so they can see what happens and be accustomed to the environment and equipment. If your procedures become quite complex, it is best to have another child – such as their older sibling model good behaviour at the dentist during a simpler appointment. The types of treatments to get your young kids to observe would be a checkup and a clean.

Tip 2 – get interactive

Read books about the dentist and practice role playing a dentist and patient situation. The more your kids know about what to expect, the less they will fear going to the dentist. Get your hands on some dental health toys tools and have your kids practice checking your teeth. You can also download tooth brushing apps which make brushing teeth more fun. The Wiggles have some products like this. You can also check out Youtube videos which show Peppa Pig visiting the dentist.

Tip 3 – start young

The Australian Dental Association recommends a child’s first dental visit occurs when their first tooth comes through in the mouth. As soon as a tooth erupts, it needs to be looked after otherwise it is at risk of developing decay. By attending the dentist on a regular basis, problems can be tackled early on. Early dental visits will get kids used to going to the dentist and prevent minor problems that may lead to complex dental treatment.

Tip 4  – no negativity

Focus on positive statements and outcomes. For example, if your child needs a scale and clean, emphasise that their teeth will be clean, strong and healthy. I prefer to do this over saying things like “this won’t hurt”. Each dentist and dental clinic may do things differently, it is best to allow the dental team to explain the procedures to your child. I hope this helps!

Thankyou for reading my blog. Did you find it helpful? If you need a local, family-friendly dentist, give us a call at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538.

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