Preparing Your Kids for the Dentist

For many, a trip to the dentist brings up antiquated imagery of anesthesia as a hammer, and dental care as pliers. Those days are long gone with modern dentistry but for many, that fear remains – and that stress can easily be passed onto your child. Fear can be powerful, but the rewards of good dental health for your entire family will outweigh any misgivings.

At Joly Dental Care in downtown Edmonton, we understand that children (and adults) may have apprehensions about going to a dentist or be anxious about certain dental procedures. The staff in our clinic do their best to make you comfortable - our friendly atmosphere in our clinic and gentle care puts children, and the whole family, at ease while undergoing a dental procedure or treatment in our office.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist that offers children’s dentistry, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by 12 months of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his or her teeth. In most cases, a dental exam every six months will let your child’s dentist catch small problems early.

Many parent resources suggest that in preparing your child for a visit to the dentist, the first step should be to find a child-friendly and child-experienced dentist like Joly Dental Care. Because we care, here are a few suggestions to help you help your child prepare for a trip to the dentist:

  1. Before the visit, ask the dentist about the procedures of the first appointment so there are no surprises. Plan a course of action for either reaction your child may exhibit – cooperative or non-cooperative. The best way to prepare for this visit is to consider what you want to know, what you want to look for, and what you should expect.
  2. Have someone with you to care for your child so you are free to talk comfortably with the dentist or hygienist and to focus attention on your child. For this reason, it is best not to bring other children along at this first visit.
  3. Bring an extra diaper and snack for your child. Also bring a favorite toy, blanket or other familiar object. This will help your child to know that the dental office is a comfortable and safe place. Your child may fuss during parts or all of the dental visit and may even enjoy the attention and novelty of the visit.

At this first visit, you will get your questions answered and start to build a relationship with your dental team. Provide your dentist with a list of any medical conditions your child has or medications taken. If your child has a sucking habit, be it thumb, pacifier, or bottle, let the dentist know, as it may affect your child’s teeth and jaw. Keep your pediatrician’s phone number handy, too, in case the dentist needs additional health information.

Dr. Joly and his team have years of experience treating children of all ages right from the age of 18 months. Bring your child into our child-friendly dental clinic today for a check-up by scheduling an appointment today!

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