Manuel Castillo, DDS
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Blog

Dentistry for Children: 5 Steps to Have Fun

When it comes to dentistry for children, did you know that 16 percent of school age children have a fear of the dentist? Not only can this make scheduling regular appointments harder, but your child may not understand why taking care of their oral hygiene is important.  

By showing them that the dentist is nothing to fear, you’ll be able to lessen anxieties and ensure better health outcomes for your children. Keep reading to learn how to make dentistry for children fun!  

1. Start Going to the Dentist Early 

It’s recommended to take your child to the dentist as soon as they’re 12 months old or six months after their first tooth comes in. Although this may seem too early, your dentist can give you advice on:  

  • Pacifier and finger-sucking habits 
  • Teething 
  • How to clean their teeth and gums properly 
  • Tooth decay from baby bottles 
  • And more 

More importantly, the earlier you take your child, the more accustomed they’ll be to the sights and sounds of the dentist’s office. Since it becomes part of their routine, they’re less likely to become stressed or anxious in the future.  

2. Take a Tour 

If your older child has never been to a dentist’s office before, it’s important that you first find a dentist that specializes in dental care for children. You’ll find that the office is set up to be as bright and inviting to children as possible, and the dentists as well as hygienists are used to talking to children and helping them feel secure.  

3. Playing at Home 

Playing dentist and patient can be a great way to introduce children to the idea of going to the dentist in a fun way. For instance, they’ll already know that when it’s time for a cleaning, they’ll need to sit in a chair and “open wide.”  

You can also prepare them for the loud sounds some of the instruments will make by copying the sounds with your mouth in a funny way.  

4. Give More Control 

Giving your child more control may help them feel more at ease as well. This includes where they want to sit or play in the waiting room. Once they go back to get their teeth cleaned, the dentist may also ask them what flavor of toothpaste they like the best.  

All of these choices may seem small, but they can help your child feel less overwhelmed by the new sights, sounds, and people.  

5. Make the Car Ride Fun 

Lastly, make sure to make the trip to and from the dentist fun as well! This way, they can associate the entire day with good feelings and happy memories. 

You can do this by playing their favorite music in the car and playing their favorite games beforehand. You can also let them bring their favorite toy or comfort item to keep them distracted.  

Dentistry for Children is Necessary for Their Health  

If your child would rather avoid the dentist, you may wonder if it’s worth the trouble. However, by taking the time to help them conquer their fears of the dentist and attend their cleanings, you’ll be setting them up for success in the future.  

Regular dentistry for children means fewer cavities, root canals, and other uncomfortable procedures that can be avoided with good oral healthcare.  

At Happy Pediatric Dentistry, our priority is to help your children feel comfortable and safe. Schedule an appointment with us today!  


WE HAVE CONVENIENT EXTENDED HOURS

We understand that parents, at times, are unable to take care of their children’s dental needs during regular business hours. That’s why we are happy to offer services on Saturday morning and have an extended day on Wednesday until 7pm.