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A Kid-friendly Dental Visit

At West Meade Dental, one of our specialties is children’s dentistry, and we take care to cater to kids to keep them from being afraid of the dentist. The fear of the dentist can be difficult to conquer, and children who are scared to go to the dentist can grow up to be adults who fear the dentist. Learning good dental hygiene is a very important lesson for a child, and regular dental visits is the best way to learn how to properly take care of your teeth. While we do all we can to make your child as comfortable as possible, Parents Magazine has some tips of things you can do to encourage your child to go to the dentist, and we would like to share these tips with you.

Tips on Making Your Child Comfortable at the Dentist

Most children are afraid to visit the dentist. Make your child as comfortable as possible so that their trip to the dentist would be a wonderful experience.

Most children are afraid to visit the dentist. Make your child as comfortable as possible so that their trip to the dentist would be a wonderful experience.

● Start dental visits at a young age.

The earlier your child goes to the dentist, the better. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first visit should be when your child receives his or her first tooth.

● Keep it simple when preparing for a dental visit.

The more information you give your child, the more questions he or she will ask. Telling your child about the possibility of getting a filling will give your child more anxiety. Keep a positive attitude, but do not give your child false hope because if an additional treatment is needed, your child will be likely to mistrust the dentist and you.

● Watch the words you use.

It is best to let the dental staff introduce new dental vocabulary to your child as they know what words to use. Tell your child the dentist will be looking for “sugarbugs” when cleaning teeth, or just tell your child the dentist wants to count his or her teeth and check his or her smile. Positive phrases like “clean, strong, healthy teeth” go a long way in making your child more comfortable about the visit.

● Try a pretend visit.

All you need is a toothbrush to play Let’s Pretend with your child as you as the dentist. Count your child’s teeth using numbers or letters of the alphabet. You can also let your child role-play with a toothbrush and a stuffed animal. Reading your child books about the dentist like Dora the Explorer’s Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist is another good idea.

● Do not try to relate your own experiences.

It is a mistake to take your child with you to your own dental appointments, say experts. Your child could sense your own anxiety, causing him or her to mistrust the dentist. Telling your child about fillings and root canals you have had creates more anxiety, and your child may never even have to have these procedures. Taking a child to an adult dental appointment can give the wrong impression as a kid’s dental visit usually involves fun things like video games and movies or TV shows to watch during the visit.

● Be prepared for fussing and a possible tantrum.

It is completely normal for a young child to cry on his or her first visit to the dentist. Luckily our staff is used to working with children and have seen all sorts of fits and tantrums. Let our staff guide you on how to support your child. Sometimes all you need to do is hold your child’s hand.

● Emphasize the importance of good dental hygiene.

Teaching your child that going to the dentist is a necessity to keep his or her teeth clean and strong goes a long way in promoting the importance of good oral health. Staying positive about dental visits helps your child to actually want to go see the dentist.

If your child needs a dental visit, contact West Meade Dental today to schedule an appointment. Our experienced staff knows how to take care of kids, and your attitude helps us greatly.

All About Kids & Dental Care

Let your children grow up without fearing their dentists and dental care. Provide them with an experience they'll enjoy.

Let your children grow up without fearing their dentists and dental care. Provide them with an experience they’ll enjoy.

We see it often: Parents who have had a bad experience at the dentist during their own childhood or who have had any traumas in their own dental history are especially cautious about their childrens’ first experiences at the dentist office. The good news is that dental phobia doesn’t have to be bequeathed to your children.

At West Meade Dental, we take childrens’ dentistry very seriously, though your kids won’t know that. For them, we make it a point to keep things light and easy, making things amusing with take-home (sugarless) treats and fun toothbrushes, with cartoons and silly face masks, all while teaching healthy dental habits that we hope will last for a lifetime.

Overcoming a Child’s Fear of Dentists

We know that how your child feels about going to the dentist is generally shaped by their first few visits. When approached thoughtlessly, that first visit can be frightening, but at West Meade Dental Dr. Shelley A. Sigur and all of our hygienists specialize in easing fears and making children feel comfortable and relaxed—during that first visit and every visit thereafter.

So if you’re a parent who wants to make sure that his or her child begins a healthy lifelong relationship with the dentist, you’ve come to the right place. Our goal is to get children excited about dental health and equip them with the knowledge to make healthy choices and develop healthy habits even at a young age.

5 Facts About Kids and Dental Care

Below you’ll find a handful of facts about pediatric dental care, with the information sourced from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

  1. It is recommended that children visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and check-up.
  2. Tooth decay, which manifests itself in the form of cavities, is the most common childhood disease. Each year hundreds of thousands of children have cavities that go untreated.
  3. Babies get cavities from bacteria that’s passed from their caregiver’s mouth into their own. This happens by sharing spoons, by testing food prior to feedings, and by cleaning off a pacifier with yourmouth instead of warm water. Right off the bat, avoid sharing saliva with your baby to keep cavity-causing bacteria out of his mouth.
  4. It’s never too early to begin cleaning your child’s teeth. As soon as they appear, you can start brushing them with a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste and a small, soft toothbrush. For children aged 2 to 5, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is sufficient.
  5. In spite of some misinformation out there, there is very little risk involved with dental X-rays. That said, most dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation that children are exposed to by using lead aprons and high-speed film.

No matter what dental needs you or your child have, West Meade Dental is prepared to meet them. We are proud to offer a wide range of dental services.

A Lifetime of Care

Whether or not we will actually get to provide dental care to your child throughout his life, we will make sure that his or her relationship with the dentist gets off to a great start so that it will usher in a lifetime of healthy dental care. The staff at West Meade Dental is committed to providing a relaxing and friendly atmosphere to children in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. At West Meade, you and your child will never be treated like a number. We make it a point to listen to all of our patients and customize each visit to each individual. Learn more about us here.


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