Kid’s Dental Visit Tips

Posted In: North Carolina Smiles

You are already a great parent – I want to make it easy for you to take good care of your child’s teeth. Deciding where to take your child for their first dental visit can range from confusing to being a big hassle. Should I take my child to my regular dentist? Many dentists will not see little children or do not have a sizeable part of their practice catering to children. At our office, 25% of our patients are under age 12. Should I try to find a pediatric dentist (a dentist who only sees children and young adults.)? There are only a handful of pediatric dentists in our area and none in Wayne County. Getting a pediatric dental appointment may involve a drive to the Triangle, Greenville, or Wilmington with appointments taking over a month to obtain.

Note Dr. Kimes, DDS:

“As a mother of four energetic children, I am happy to see your children six months after their first teeth come in or at age one – whichever is earlier. I have tools at the office that are specially designed for little ones smaller mouths and the needs of smaller teeth. Additionally, I can offer appointments for all your children at the same time or alongside Mom or Dad’s check up appointment. We are truly a family dental practice. We accept all insurance plans and file all dental claims for you with our electronic system.”

You are already a great parent – I want to make it easy for you to take good care of your child’s teeth. Deciding where to take your child for their first dental visit can range from confusing to being a big hassle. Should I take my child to my regular dentist? Many dentists will not see little children or do not have a sizeable part of their practice catering to children. At our office, 25% of our patients are under age 12. Should I try to find a pediatric dentist (a dentist who only sees children and young adults.)? There are only a handful of pediatric dentists in our area and none in Wayne County. Getting a pediatric dental appointment may involve a drive to the Triangle, Greenville, or Wilmington with appointments taking over a month to obtain. As a mother of four energetic children, I am happy to see your children six months after their first teeth come in or at age one – whichever is earlier. I have tools at the office that are specially designed for little ones smaller mouths and the needs of smaller teeth. Additionally, I can offer appointments for all your children at the same time or alongside Mom or Dad’s check up appointment. We are truly a family dental practice. We accept all insurance plans and file all dental claims
for you with our electronic system.

Tips for improving your child’s dental experience

The sooner the better. The American Dental Association recommends children visit the dentist within six months of getting their first tooth – and no later than his or her first birthday. Starting at a young age allows children and parents to establish a relationship with a dentist and helps start a routine of visiting the dentist regularly. Many parents are surprised by how early their children need to be seen for a checkup, but those baby teeth need to last – in some cases 12 to 13 years. The earlier a child starts seeing the dentist, the more likely they will avoid dental problems.

Be Positive. Studies have shown that children will model and copy their parent’s behaviors (positive and negative). Avoid using words that could make them scared, such as: drill, filling or shot. Instead, explain that the dentist is simply going to check their smile and count their teeth. Nothing makes a child feel better than knowing they have someone by their side. Be there to comfort and relieve them of any worries. Bring the child’s favorite stuffed animal or blanket to the visit. After the visit, you can plan a fun activity as well.

Here are some examples to use whenever answering a question about the dentist:

  • “The dental hygienist will count how many teeth you have.”
  • “I don’t know, but we can ask the dentist or dental hygienist.”
  • “The dentist will see what a good job you do to take care of your teeth.
  • “When you leave the dental office, your teeth will be shiny and bright!”

Costumes are Cool: Kids are awesome! Let their personalities come out during their dental visits. Whether it’s a superhero or a princess outfit, allowing your child to wear their favorite costume can add a little extra courage for their first trip. We will play along and make it a fun visit.

Parents Come Along: Parents are encouraged to come back to the treatment room with their child. We will stop working if the child is nervous, uncomfortable, or experiences discomfort. You can see that the office is clean, instruments are sterile, and your child’s comfort is attended to. We can talk about any concerns you have about your child, such as thumb sucking, brushing and flossing, medical conditions, allergies, medicines, or nutrition.

If at First You Don’t Succeed: Sometimes kids wake up on the wrong side of the bed and there is nothing you can do to get them to cooperate. This is just part of being a kid. Even the best kids have bad days. If your child comes to the office and is having a hard time, cries excessively, or won’t behave; we can regroup, let them settle down and reschedule for another day. No one is perfect and your child deserves a second chance. I am here to serve your entire family from the wee ones to the grandparents and everyone in between. Take the first step by calling the office and making your child’s appointment today!

Contact us at (919) 658-9511

Posted on: 29 June, 2015

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