Well, it’s almost that time again…soon the kids will be heading off to school once again. And while regular dental visits are important year-round, a back-to-school checkup is key in fighting cavities. In fact, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year!
Prevention and early detection can help avoid pain, trouble eating, difficulty
speaking and school absences. When you’re beginning to do your pediatrician checks to make sure their children are school ready, make sure teeth are part of it.
Following are some tips for a successful visit.
Plan Ahead: Between cookouts, camping trips and everything else on your family’s summer list, it’s easy for school to sneak up on you. Give yourself enough time by
Encourage Age-Appropriate Dental Habits at Home: The best kind of checkup is cavity-free. Moms and dads can help make this happen by encouraging kids to brush twice a day and floss once a day.
Ages 6 and Under: At this age, your child might not have the fine motor skills needed to do a thorough job. Let them start and jump in when needed.
Ages 7-12: By now, your child knows what to do, he/she just might not want to. Keep encouraging healthy brushing and flossing habits.
Ages 12-18: Don’t let your teen’s habits become out of sight, out of mind. The behaviours of the teenager are going to translate into the 20-year-old.
Timing Is Everything: Time of day can make or break your child’s appointment. It’s important for a child of any age who’s used to a nap to not schedule during naptime. If your child is always cranky after waking up, factor that in too.
A Hungry Child Is Not a Happy Patient: Feed your child a light meal before the appointment. Hungry children are often grouchy children.
Leave Your Anxiety at the Door: If your heart races at the very thought of the dentist, your child can probably tell. The younger your kids are, the more you need to be aware of how you’re communicating with them.
Keep Cool If Your Child Won’t Cooperate: If your child gets upset during the visit, the worst thing you can do is get up and leave because then the next visit is going to be harder so just help them through it.