Taking children to the dentist is rarely an easy task. Between scheduling issues, unique dental concerns, and managing your child’s anxiety, you may find that these appointments are far more challenging than your own.
Visiting a good children’s dentist (also known as a pediatric dentist) can make this process significantly easier. These professionals are trained in treating young patients and can employ strategies that will make each trip to the dentist less stressful. Here are ten ways a children’s dentist can improve this experience for both you and your child.
10 Ways a Children’s Dentist Can Help with Your Kid’s Dental Needs
1. Be Patient with Your Child
Many children experience a lot of anxiety around dental appointments, especially when they are very young. The experience of visiting the dentist is new to your child, and they may resist going or exhibit challenging behaviours while at the office.
Children’s dentists offer gentle reassurance to get your child to relax inside the clinic. They know this may take extra time, and many will schedule slightly longer appointments for child patients to account for this.
2. Treat Tongue-Tie in Babies
Tongue-tie is a common problem in children. It is caused by a frenulum (the tissue that anchors the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) that is too short, restricting the movement of the tongue. This may make it difficult to breastfeed, swallow, or speak.
A children’s dentist can quickly cut the frenulum on a tongue-tied baby using a small handheld laser. This procedure is painless and involves minimal bleeding, allowing you to easily correct this anatomical problem while your child is still young.
3. Promote Good Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is just as important for children as it is for adults. In fact, it is even more crucial. Good habits established in childhood will often continue into adult life.
Your child’s dentist will take the time to educate them on topics such as tooth decay, hygiene habits, and healthy eating. The more your child knows about why oral health and dental care are so important, the more likely they are to take care of their teeth and gums in the future. The dentist will also provide more gentle dental cleanings and may allow your child to take breaks during the procedure when needed, making it less stressful for them to have the tartar cleaned from their teeth.
4. Prevent Cavities
When your child’s oral hygiene is good, they will develop fewer cavities. With regular dental visits, any decay that develops will also be caught and treated early.
A children’s dentist will care for your child’s oral health throughout their development and teach them to do the same. They will diagnose and treat any cavities your child has, then offer advice on how to prevent these problems in the future. They can also administer preventive treatments like fluoride varnish and sealant application to strengthen your child’s teeth and make them more resistant to decay in the future.
5. Guide Your Kids Through the Teething Process
Teething can be a difficult time, especially for first-time parents. It is devastating to see your child in pain when you feel powerless to help them.
A children’s dentist can guide you through the teething stage. They can answer all your questions about topics like when your child will begin teething, how long it will last, which teeth will erupt first, and how best to manage your child’s pain. Not only does this give you actionable information you can use to navigate this situation, but it may also relieve some of your own anxiety surrounding this process.
6. Help Break Your Child’s Bad Dental Habits
Oral habits like thumb-sucking and pacifier use are developmentally appropriate at a certain age, but they cannot go on forever. If your child does not stop these habits around age 2, the alignment of their teeth may be affected.
Dentists know how important it is to break those habits early and keep your child from continuing them as their permanent teeth begin to erupt. They can guide you through different strategies meant to help you wean your child off this behaviour, giving you the best chance of curbing it before it can take a toll on your child’s teeth.
7. Screen Your Child’s Orthodontic Needs
By the time your child is around 7 years old, many of their adult teeth will have erupted. Their dentist can examine these permanent teeth to predict the final alignment of your child’s bite and let you know how likely it is that they will need braces. Many parents find this advanced warning very helpful.
8. Help with Dental Emergencies
Active children are prone to dental injuries from falls, rough contact during sports, and other physical impacts. Because of this, it is not unlikely that your child will need emergency dental care at some point before they grow up.
Most children’s dentists also serve as emergency dentists with options to book urgent appointments when needed. You will know exactly where to take your child when a dental emergency happens, ensuring timely treatment and giving you valuable peace of mind.
9. Encourage Lifelong Oral Care
Early experiences are an extremely important part of your child’s development. If your child’s first few dental visits are stressful and frightening, that impression may stick with them for life and make it hard for them to access the dental care they need.
A child-friendly dentist can give your child a positive outlook on dental care that will set them up for good oral health for life. These professionals create a fun, comfortable atmosphere for your child’s dental care, giving them that all-important positive foundation.
10. Engage Your Kids in Their Own Dental Health
Most children are fearful of unknown experiences, but they are also curious by nature. A children’s dentist knows how to harness that curiosity to make dental appointments more engaging and less scary.
They might let your child touch and hold their tools before the dentist uses them in your child’s mouth. If they are particularly anxious, it may help for them to see the tools used on a parent first to show that they are safe and effective. This gives your child the chance to learn more about how dentistry works and why it is never a scary experience with the best dentists.
Visit Top Children’s Dentists at the Best Dental Clinic in Mississauga
You take your children’s dental care seriously, and so do we. At Trillium Smile Dentistry, our children’s dentists do everything they can to provide a superior experience for their young patients. We also offer direct billing, so you can easily use your dental insurance to cover your children’s eligible dental expenses. Call us at 905-828-9894 or contact us online today to book an appointment for your child and set them up for better oral health for life.