Getting Your Child Ready for the Dentist

At Johnson Pediatric Dentistry, we hope to provide the best possible care to you and your family. In fact, we believe in the importance of a child’s first experience at the dentist, and we want to ensure that it is both positive and repeatable. We promise to do our part, but here are a few ideas to help prepare your child before they sit in the chair. Putting these practices in place at a young age will set the course for minimal dental issues and strong oral hygiene routines for life.

Consistency at home

Kids should brush their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day (preferably before bed). Remember that until your child can tie their shoes on their own, they do not have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively on their own. Not only that, but once your kids can handle the toothbrush, they may not be doing the best job at scouring those sugar-bugs. So, until kids reach age 11 or 12, you should be supervising these routines and offering advice to help them improve their technique as needed.

Limit Sugary Drinks and Sticky Snacks

Water needs to be a readily available beverage option at home and on the go with kids. Keep a full pitcher of water in the fridge and water bottles in the car. Providing healthy snack options including fruit, vegetables, cheese, whole wheat crackers, and rice cakes will also help combat the decaying effects of sugar and plaque. Soda should only be an occasional treat, simply because the sugar and acid content can really take a toll on developing teeth (and creatures of habit). If they do drink soda, encourage your children to drink with straws and rinse their mouths out with water after consumption. Help your children understand different food and drink options, so that they know which options are good for their teeth and why.

Regular Dental Checkups

Within the first six months of cutting their first tooth or around a first birthday, your child can benefit from a visit to the dentist. Establishing a solid relationship with your dentist will help your children feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Schedule regular six month checkups in order to detect problems early including cavities and the need for orthodontics, avoid tooth aches, and to set your children up for a life of strong oral health.

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