Children’s Dentistry in Tofield Creating Healthy Smiles For a Lifetime

Two young girls brush their teeth

Fear of the dentist’s office often starts young. Many adults suffer from severe anxiety at the thought of even a simple tooth cleaning, let alone anything else. This is why it’s essential to help your children feel safe and relaxed when visiting the dentist. At Parkstone Dental, we welcome your children to our calm and comfortable environment. 

When to Start

We all know, it’s usually easier to learn something young. Bringing your child in for their first visit as an infant is an ideal start to a lifetime of dental care for a healthy smile. The Canadian Dental Association recommends bringing your baby to a dentist within the first 6 months after a tooth appears, or at least by the time they’re a year old.

Why so young you may wonder? After all, if they’ve only got one tooth, what’s a dentist going to do? The CDA explains that bringing your baby to the dentist at a young age, not only allows your dentist to “catch small problems early,” but also:

  1. Makes sure your home brushing is effective. Those small mouths can be tricky to get that tooth (and then teeth) clean. 
  2. Uncover any problems that can be fixed right away. 
  3. Teaches your child early that going to the dentist prevents problems. 

In fact, the CDA explains “your dentist can tell you if crooked or crowded teeth may cause problems. In many cases, crooked teeth straighten out as the child’s jaw grows and the rest of the teeth come in.”

Colgate.com also recommends bringing your baby to the dentist if you notice anything unusual in your baby’s (or child’s) mouth like “white spots, leasions, bleeding, etc.” Did you know that “nearly 1 in 5 children under 5” have tooth decay? Colgate.com reported this from the American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD). The possibility of tooth decay is just one more reason it’s highly recommended to bring your children in when they’re very young. 

Stanford Children’s Health suggests getting information from your dentist about:

  • tooth decay (possible from baby bottles)
  • infant feeding practices
  • mouth cleaning
  • teething
  • pacifier or finger-sucking habits

Getting Ready

For some parents, visiting the dentist, even to bring their child, fills them with stress and anxiety. Do the best you can to not pass those fears and anxious feelings to your child. Stanford Children’s Health says to “be honest with your view of the dentist.” Giving moral support to your child and staying calm during the exam will go a long way in helping your child stay relaxed during their visits.

Colgate.com shares ideas on getting your baby ready for their first visit including:

  • watching videos about visiting the dentist
  • filling out the paperwork ahead of time so they’re not waiting too long
  • bring a list of questions to ask, especially about how to keep your baby’s mouth and teeth clean and healthy

During the Visit

Mouth HeathlyTM from the American Dental Association offers some handy tips to make the appointment a more pleasant experience for everyone. 

  • Avoid naptime appointments if possible. 
  • Feed your child a light meal and brush their teeth before the appointment. 
  • Have snacks on hand for after the appointment. 
  • Work with the dentist to keep your child happy. If they get upset, try to calm them; work together. 
  • Some children either can’t or won’t sit on the chair alone, be prepared to hold your child in your lap. 
  • Don’t worry too much about wriggling; children’s dentists are used to this happening. 

Colgate.com also recommends bringing a favorite toy along and, though it may feel scary to them at first, your family dentist wants to “help them keep a healthy and beautiful smile.” 

Early Warning Signs

If your child experiences any of these symptoms, Colgate.com suggests checking with your dentist about an office visit:

  • teeth or gum sensitivity (talk to your dentist about teething symptoms too)
  • toothaches
  • brown, black, or white stains on the tooth
  • bad breath
  • bleeding gums

Lifetime of Care

Just like adults, regular dental exams are recommended. Colgate.com explains that the exams “are essential for preventive care and maintaining their oral health.” 

When your children’s teeth are coming in, it may be tempting to limit children’s dentist appointments. But, with the goal of prevention, like adults, it’s recommended to schedule dental exams every 6 months. 

Teach your children from as young as 6 months old that visiting the children’s dentist prevents future problems and doesn’t need to be feared. Our mission at Parkstone Dental is to provide the best possible care for you and your children. Schedule an appointment by calling (587) 318-2834 today.