Children mimic the habits of their parents. Here at Briglia Dental Group, we often tell concerned parents that the most effective way to ensure good oral health habits in their youngsters is to practice those same habits. If your toddler sees you brushing and flossing regularly, it is only natural that he or she will want to practice the same daily habits. If children grow up in a family where regular dental checkups are routine, that practice will likely follow them into adulthood.
In terms of strong teeth, healthy gums and attractive smiles, those early habits combined with ongoing professional care pay big dividends for lifelong health.
We also reinforce the notion, among our adult and child patients, that there is no reason to fear the dentist. Even when extensive work is needed, we have “antidotes” for fear and anxiety, and we are committed to painless dentistry. There are a wide range of options available to eliminate pain and to alleviate anxiety, and we are especially understanding when dealing with young children.
Train Them Right
Young children have little fear. If you take your child by the hand and walk confidently into the dental office that first time, chances are good that your child will be curious, but not afraid, about future examinations. We recommend that you take that “walk” early. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that a “first visit by first birthday” is not too soon. While you may want to delay that visit just a bit (maybe until the first words tumble from that young mouth) we agree that an early dental visit can be an early warning system for any possible problems.
There are concerns other than the way those baby teeth first appear in the gums, including thumb-sucking and pacifier use, that influence your child’s teeth. Diet, genetics and hygiene also have an immense effect on oral health, and we are prepared to discuss all those subjects with you. We will introduce your child to the caring people who can contribute to a lifetime of healthy gums, strong teeth and beautiful smiles. By mastering some beneficial techniques and discussing possible problem areas, we might be able to eliminate the need for fillings or other dental work on those primary teeth. Even a child knows that a simple “look-see” is better than having to sit still for “repair work.”
Again, instilling beneficial habits contributes to life-long oral health.
Back to the Subject of Smiles
We see many adults in our practice who did not have the benefit of early dentistry or continuing their dental care. We can tell you, from that experience, that it is much better for a child to learn to know and trust a dentist early in life. It is up to you to communicate that confidence to your little one.
Here are some more good reasons to bring your child to us early in his or her life:
- We can teach you how to teach your child the basic principles of good oral hygiene.
- We will meet your child at a time when fears have not had a chance to develop — and we really like children!
- We can determine whether your child is at risk for future problems, and we will discuss preventive measures with you.
- We will answer all of your questions, talk about teething and tooth milestones, and prepare you for the time when baby teeth will be replaced with a permanent set; we will discuss the concerns you may have about braces and lifelong dental care.
In addition, our professionals, including your hygienist, will demonstrate the proper way to brush, floss, and care for teeth, lessons that will be reinforced on every subsequent visit. We still discuss oral hygiene with our adult patients, just so you will never forget how important it is.
A Continuum of Care
At Briglia Dental Group, we are used to children and we do our best to make them comfortable. We also use a method with older children that we call “Tell, Show and Do” to explain some of the tools and procedures that we use. You can help prepare a child for that first dental visit by playing games — Have your children open wide as you look in their mouths, count their teeth and talk about how important it is to brush every day. Let your child observe you brushing and flossing, and buy a child-size first toothbrush so that they can share the daily routine.
Because we are a family practice, we enjoy seeing our young patients grow into healthy and happy young adults. We also like knowing that we have played an important part in making a great smile possible!
Just as importantly, throughout life, we are available to answer your questions, address your concerns, deal with emergencies, and perform restorative and cosmetic work for you as necessary. From early childhood care to senior needs, we are dedicated to total dental care in a pain-free and “fear-less” environment. We look forward to scheduling your child’s first appointment, and many more. Give us a call at (610) 692-4440 or schedule a consultation here!