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You should book dental check-ups for children as soon as their first teeth appear. The first baby teeth erupt through the gums as early as four months. This is the perfect time to get a dentist involved. Developing positive dental habits at a young age not only increases the likelihood of preventing potential problems, but also allows for positive associations to be built right from the start.
Before the appointment begins, sufficient time is spent making the little patient feel relaxed and at ease in the new environment. A step-by-step process is then followed covering all areas of oral health. Each step is performed in a way that helps to teach children that oral care can actually be fun. This helps to eliminate any fear of visiting the dentist.
Examination – Your child’s mouth is examined for early signs of decay and other oral health associated problems.
Brushing techniques – Different brushing techniques are demonstrated using plastic teeth models and electric toothbrushes. Little patients love to give it a go and older ones are keen to show the way they brush their teeth at home. If needed, tips are provided on how to improve the brushing technique.
Cleaning tools – Different types of fluoride toothpastes, toothbrushes and flosses are explored. All of these can be kept in the bathroom so that kids have different options each time they brush.
Plaque painting – The plaque on the teeth is then painted a different colour. This enable little patient and parent can see where more thorough brushing is needed.
Educational videos – The appointment ends off with some fun but educational videos about teeth brushing.
Goodie bag – No appointment would be complete without a reward. Little patients walk away with a goodie bag of presents, stickers, and fun charts to complete.
Advance warning – Tell your child ahead of time that they will be visiting the dentist where someone will look at and clean their teeth.
Role play – Try showing your child pictures of a dentist or have fun role-playing activities to mimic what will happen at the appointment. There are plenty of pictures of the OSD Healthcare dental team on social media.
Exposure – Take your child along to an older sibling’s dental check-up, or even your own, to help them get accustomed to the environment and the people. You can take a virtual tour of our dental department here.
Support – Reassure your child that you will be there to support them. For any child under the age of 3, it is recommended that the parent is present for the appointment. Depending on their age, it is even encouraged that your little one sits on your lap in the dental chair.
Encouraging good dental habits and regular dental check-ups for children can be challenging. Unfortunately, the more time that goes by, the worse the potential problems can be. OSD Healthcare want to support you when you need us most and encourage you to book a dental check-up for your child so that you can continue to watch them smile pain free year after year.
Remember… families that brush together, smile together.
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