Being a parent is a challenge and you may often have your hands full of responsibilities that need immediate attention. You may think that you know best for your child but sometimes, you can miss your target.
Oral health is one field of care that needs urgent attention and as a parent, you must be on top of your child’s oral hygiene in order to ensure a lifetime of top-notch oral and general health.
Here are some common mistakes you may be making when it comes to preparing your child for a dental visit:
1. Not visiting the dentist soon enough
One of the most worrying and potentially disturbing incidents prevalent among children is that it is actually common for children aged two or three to have serious dental conditions requiring treatment under anesthesia.
Parents often do not see the need to take their children for a dental visit with the logic that they do not have any teeth to need treatment. However, that may be your biggest mistake when it comes to taking care of your child’s oral hygiene.
Practically speaking, it is advised to bring your children to the dentist once they can understand simple instructions, like, “sit down” and “open your mouth”.
2. Complicating the dental visit
When you are preparing for a dental visit, especially if it is the first time, try not to include too many details. Doing so can raise more questions for your child, leading to confusion and unnecessary anxiety.
Keep a positive attitude whenever you discuss an upcoming dental visit. Keep it simple and easy for your child to grasp.
3. Taking the child directly to the dentist
Most parents take their children to the dentist with a little warm-up and hope for the best. However, it is best that you take your child for a pretend visit to the dentist prior to their first appointment.
Playing pretend with your child allows you to ready them for what to expect. This unveils a lot of the mystery surrounding dental visits and can allow your child to have a sincere and calm visit.
4. Bribing the kids with candy
Your child begins to make a fuss. What do you do? It is quite common for parents to promise their child a special treat to neutralize the hostile situation. However, doing so will only increase their apprehension and anxiety.
Instead of using candy and other treats as a form of bribe whenever they behave well, praise your child for their good behavior and bravery. These words of encouragement build their spirit and help them get better, one little step at a time.
5. Not explaining the importance of oral health
Often you are so used to instructing the kids with “Brush your teeth” or “No candy for you today”, that we almost forget that kids do not always think the way we do. Negative reinforcement through scolding can do more harm than good for your kid.
Be honest with your child and explain to them the importance of oral health. Teach your child that brushing their teeth is a necessity and not a choice because of its role in keeping cavities at bay.