All Posts in Category: Pediatric Dentistry

Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of Dentists - Green Dental Care

Helping Your Child Overcome Their Fear of Dentists

For a child, going to the dentist can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. The experience of sitting in the dental chair while a strange new person uses hard metal instruments to poke around their mouth can be too much for a child. While the fear is understandable, it’s important to help your children keep their teeth and gums healthy from a very young age. At Green Dental Care, we pride ourselves on creating the best experience for all of our patients. We want to ensure that future visits to your Parker CO dentist are enjoyable and stress-free. Dr. Ionescu has put together the following steps that you can take to helping your child overcome their fear of dentists. 

Early Introductions to Your Dentist in Parker

The sooner a child pays a visit to the dentist, the better comfortable they will ultimately be. Our friends Dr. Kristina Neda at ThoroughDent Smiles, a pediatric dental office in Georgetown, KY,  recommends that the first visit to the dentist be at the age of 1, or soon after the first teeth start to erupt. Keep it upbeat and fun, and encourage your child with plenty of positive reinforcement.

Keep it Age Appropriate and Easy to Understand

When you’re preparing your child for a visit to the dentist, try not to go into too much detail. This can lead to creating plenty of unnecessary anxiety as your child tried to understand what is going to happen. Keep up with a positive attitude and tone of voice when discussing any upcoming visits or procedures.

If your child needs treatment, keep the explanation simple and age-appropriate, reassuring your child that the doctor and staff are there to help.

Be Mindful of the Words that You Use

There are some words that should be avoided when discussing dental or doctor visits with children. Just the words alone can often lead to anxiety.

  • Shot
  • Injection
  • Hurt
  • Pain
  • Drill

Instead, allow your child’s pediatric dentist and hygienists to use their own language when describing what they will be doing. A common description of treatment is to use the words “sugar bugs.” Simply tell your little one that the dentist is going to check their smile and look for any invisible sugar bugs so that he can clean them off.

  • Focus on positive words.
  • Clean teeth
  • Strong teeth
  • Healthy teeth
  • Happy smiles
  • Healthy smiles

This can help to make the visits to your Parker dentist feel fun and interesting, rather than alarming and frightening.

Playing Pretend

Children learn through playing, and playing pretend with your child can help to reassure them about what to expect from an upcoming visit to the dentist. Pretend to be the dentist and take turns with your child playing the dentist. All you will need is a toothbrush and your imagination. Count your child’s teeth and have them count and examine yours. The type of play you engage in doesn’t need to be specific or anything other than keeping it fun. The goal is to get your little one familiar with the routine of a dental office visit.

Pick up a few picture books that have lots of illustrations and an easy-to-understand dialogue to help children get an idea about what can be expected.

Prepare for a Bit of Fussing

It is very normal and very age-appropriate for young children to be fussy, cry, whine, and argue about being seen by their Parker CO dentist. Try to remain calm and collected, remembering that your children can often pick up your own anxiety. Remember, also, that your dentist in Parker CO has worked with many children. Each member of the team will know how to handle the fussing best that your children may demonstrate.

It’s your job to be the cool-headed and calm parent, while the dental professionals handle the business of keeping their teeth healthy.

Focus on the Importance of a Healthy Mouth

Teaching your children that dental visits are necessary and not optional will help them to understand that the dentist will help them to take care of their teeth. You may want to explain that the dentist can help to keep teeth free from cavities and help to ensure a beautiful smile for many great years to come.

Start your children with the best oral health care and make an appointment for an examination with the best dentist in Parker. You’ll find our entire team kind, compassionate, and really understanding when it comes to working with our littlest patients. We offer a wide range of dental services that will meet each of your oral healthcare goals.

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Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Helping your child form dental care habits at an early age will ensure strong healthy teeth that will last a lifetime. Experts at Green Dental Care in Parker, CO share the following tips for taking care of your child’s teeth.

Don’t Wait for Teeth to Erupt Before Commencing Oral Care

Oral care begins as soon as a baby is born. Don’t wait until you see the first teeth erupting in order to start taking care of your child’s oral health. Instead, Dr. Chris Green, a dentist in Parker CO, recommends that you use a damp cloth to wipe the gums of the baby after every feeding session. This will remove any food residues which may have fed bacteria and triggered oral health issues, such as infections.

Regulate Feeding Schedules

It is also unwise to leave your baby with his or her feeding bottle throughout the night or day while the baby is in the crib. Unregulated feeding increases the likelihood that oral bacteria will thrive in the mouth of your baby since there is unlimited access to sugary substances. Dentists in Parker, CO recommend that you take away the feeding bottle as soon as the baby is full. Follow this with wiping the gums using a damp cloth as suggested earlier.

Start Brushing Once Your Child’s Teeth Erupt

Dr. Chris Green explains that two front teeth in the lower jaw are normally the first to erupt in a baby’s mouth. Once these teeth appear, start brushing them without using any toothpaste. A baby toothbrush and plain water are sufficient at this stage. Why wouldn’t you use toothpaste at this stage? Our friend, Dr. Taher Dhoon, a dentist in Greeley CO explains that the ingredients of toothpaste may be very harsh for your young child at this point in their lives. Brush the teeth each morning and night for maximum benefit from this habit.

Know When to Introduce Toothpaste

Toothpaste contains compounds which kill bacteria, fight bad odor and strengthen teeth. It is therefore important for you to introduce toothpaste to the oral care routine of your child as soon as possible. This should happen once your child learns how to spit when instructed. When this milestone is reached, introduce fluoride-free toothpaste and use it to brush your child’s baby teeth.

Instruct the child to spit the toothpaste out. Don’t worry if the baby swallows some of this toothpaste. Fluoride-free toothpaste isn’t harmful when swallowed, so the idea of using it is to get the child used to spitting out all the contents of their mouth as you brush their teeth. Once the child can spit out everything, start using fluoride toothpaste. Use only a pea-sized portion until Dr. Chris Green recommends otherwise.

Introduce Flossing at Age 3

As soon as your child turns 3, introduce him or her to the habit of flossing. This will ensure that the dental plaque forming between teeth is removed together with any food particles. This will keep those areas of the teeth and gums clean even when a toothbrush cannot reach those sections to clean them properly.

Watch Your Child’s Diet

Green Dental Care also recommends that you pay close attention to your child’s diet as a way of supporting good oral health. Limit the intake of sugary and acidic foods. Soda, gummy bears, and citrus fruits and juices should be consumed in moderation to prevent cavities. Remember to brush the child’s teeth each time they consume sticky substances so that oral bacteria doesn’t get a feast. Sugar-free gum can be a good way to extract food remnants from teeth after a meal. Drinking water also helps in this regard.

Take the Child for Their First Dental Visit

Dr. Chris Green recommends that you take your child to Green Dental Care for their first dental visit once they celebrate their first birthday. The pediatric dentist will examine your baby’s teeth and oral structures in order to identify any issues of concern at this point in time. The dentist in Parker, CO will also advise you about what you need to do to enhance the oral care of your child at home. This is also the time for you to ask any questions you may have about taking care of your child’s oral health. The common questions which Dr. Chris Green encounters include questions on what type of toothbrush is ideal for the child, whether the child can use mouthwash as well as concerns about pediatric dental x-rays.

Like any other person, your child also needs to see the dentist every six months for professional dental cleanings and checkups. Schedule these visits accordingly so that any developing issue can be identified and addressed early.

How to Make Oral Care Fun for Your Child

As already mentioned, your kids need to get into the habit of taking proper care of their teeth as early as possible. However, you should not try to reason with your baby as a way of convincing him or her to embrace good dental care habits; the child is too young to appreciate logical arguments at that age! Dr. Green suggests that you instead use other means to make oral care fun for the child so that they participate willingly in the different routines.

The helpful ways to make oral care fun include letting the child select a toothbrush for themselves (such as one in their favorite color or with their favorite cartoon character), selecting their preferred toothpaste flavor, playing their favorite song and telling them to brush until the song comes to an end (this ensures they will brush for at least two minutes) and planning a fun activity after making dental visits.

Remember to contact Dr. Chris Green at Green Dental Care if anything unusual, such as tooth pain or an oral infection, develops in your child. Prompt action will address the issue and prevent your child from losing a tooth at this early stage in their life. Call Green Dental Care anytime you have a question regarding your child’s oral health.

 

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