Your child’s dentist does more for your young one than just check his or her teeth for cavities. What kinds of things do children learn from their dentist? Consider some of the following ways in which a good dentist also proves to be an extraordinary teacher to young children on their dental health journey.
Learning Proper Dental Care
One of the main things a dentist will try to do with a young patient is instill a sense of the necessity for dental care. This isn’t done through scare tactics, but rather through building appreciation for good oral health, and by attempting to make dental care fun.
To that end, the hygienist will likely use a flavored toothpaste for a child, rather than the usual mint toothpaste. You can keep the fun going at home by getting toothpaste flavors that your child enjoys. You can also purchase a fun toothbrush. This will also encourage your child to brush.
As you can see, reinforcing what the dentist says will be vital. After all, you are with your child every day. The dentist only sees your child twice a year.
How to Brush and Floss
Often, it is the hygienist that actually clean your child’s teeth, and either the hygienist or the dentist will discuss the proper way to brush and floss. While children are more likely to imitate a parent, the dentist is usually seen as an authority figure, and we find that many children are more likely to absorb the information being told to them. In fact, according to a study released by the NIH, 90% of children feel more comfortable when their dentist is wearing a white coat. Perhaps this helps the child to associate the dentist with being a professional.
Learning Proper Nutrition for Oral Health
Your dentist will also likely address nutrition with a child. While a child may not want to hear that candy and soda are bad for their teeth, this is an important part of making sure that cavities don’t form. Of course, children often struggle with moderation. Again, it will be up to the parent to teach a child that one piece of candy now and then is okay, but eating an entire bag on a regular basis is a sure way to be back in the dental chair quickly! A healthy diet is key to maintaining excellent dental health, and a dentist is a great authority figure to share the proper “do’s” and “dont’s” of healthy eating habits.
In summary, your dentist will try to teach your child the foundations of good oral health. However, it will be up to you as a parent to help children develop proper oral care habits and reinforce the information they learn when visiting the dentist! With an excellent dentist in your corner, your child will have all of the knowledge necessary to keep a healthy, happy smile for a lifetime.