Introduce the little ones to dental care as early as possible. Tell everything about teeth, show tooth structure picture, how tooth looks on the outside and inside. Show what happens when your teeth decay, how do cavities appear, why it is important to brush and floss teeth every day, explain what happens without hygiene, and why it will need to be repaired later. I also mention proper nutrition.
What your children eat and drink affects their teeth. It is better to choose water instead of sweet drinks, natural, fresh juice. After drinking, rinse your mouth with water. Instead of sweets, it is better to choose berries and fruits, they will satisfy the need for sweetness and provide your body with the necessary nutrients. Too many sugar (from cake, cookies, candies, milk, and other sugary foods and beverages), and starches (such as pretzels and potato chips) can cause tooth decay. Rinse your teeth with water after each meal. Water does not harm the teeth and aids in washing away any food particles that may be clinging to teeth.
TIPS TO MAKE BRUSHING EASIER
Some of little ones simply do not like brushing their teeth, but only because they don’t understand why it is necessary to do this. That’s why it’s especially important to explain everything consistently. Children can get tired and not complete the cleaning process as it should. Help children brush their teeth and supervise teeth brushing process.
Teeth must be brushed every morning and evening, to make it as a habit. Try brushing teeth at the same time every day: before bathing, so they aren’t too tired, and after breakfast, so they aren’t cranky because they just woke up or are hungry. Kids love doing and copying what their parents do: take your toothbrush and do it together.
Get in front of the mirror, this can be very encouraging because they can see what they are doing, and kids love seeing and feeling that they are doing something right.
Some kids feel that brushing is boring, so you can make it as a game. This is where, we as parents, can get creative. You can sing together and make it fun. Every time you buy toothbrushes for the family, let the little ones choose the toothbrush they like the most. If they choose their toothbrush, they will most likely be excited when brushing time comes around.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR LITTLE ONES FOR THEIR FIRST DENTIST VISIT?
It is important to explain to your child why he needs to see a dentist. Tell about the whole process, how teeth are repaired. Avoid to use words like “hurt,” “shot,” or “painful.” Don’t tell your child about an unpleasant dental experience that you’ve had. If your little one has already heard such words, tell him, that this happens only when you are not brushing your teeth. No talks about pain. This will cause anxiety and unnecessary fears. Your child needs to feel safe.
Before going to the dentist, tell how exactly your teeth are being repaired. Take a pencil and show, that it’s tip spins, and that’s how your doctor cleans out decays, then he adds mass to the hole, which later hardens, and then tooth becomes strong and looks good again. When tooth is shaped, it needs to be sanded slightly. It sounds like a game. Tell your child, that his dentist has a tool with running water from it and it tickles the mouth.
If you have the possibility, buy a toy set of dental repair tools, before the visit. Let your little ones play Dentist. This can lead them to open up to the idea of brushing and look at it as something fun.
Visiting a dentist usually causes stress not only for the little ones, but also for the parents. Try to stay calm and do not pass your mood to your kid. They need your peace of mind, strength and support. In stressful situations, when teeth hurt and you need help, leave all thing to the dentist. Specialist who treats children, will know how to cope with your child’s fears and anxiety and put them at ease.
Before the first visit to the dentist, I was no less worried than the children. Lots of questions were spinning in my head, how things will go. My first personal experience at the dentist wasn’t pleasant.
Although we discussed everything before we arrived, I felt that my excitement passed on to the little ones as well. Before arriving we were talking, that there will be no pain, but when we came into the clinic I saw small frightened eyes.
To my great surprise, after a few minutes of communication, the situation has changed. I heard a laugh. While the dentist was drilling a tooth, my little one was laughing because of the water tickling her jaw. Before starting procedure, doctor showed all her tools, who they are for, allowed to touch, showed water running out of the drill, how the pump works. She spoke calm, gently and confident. Before starting the job, she introduced to the whole process, so child knew what to expect and felt safe, trusted the doctor. We are usually afraid of what we don’t know. Sometimes we create a wide range of fears and worst-case scenarios without knowing it. At the time I was happy, the tension I felt subsided. The doctors who worked in same clinic came to see what was happening here that the children were laughing.
I wish you also such fun moments when you will visit your dentist for the first time. If your dentist does not take steps to ease your child’s fears, consider finding another one. It is important that your child has a positive experience at the dentist during their early years so that they do not develop an ongoing fear of oral health care providers.