Defeat Dental Distress: Helping Your Child Overcome Fears of The Dentist

For some children, the dentist can be a scary place, but it shouldn’t be! See how you can help prevent and alleviate anxiety for your little one.

As we know, going to the dentist is an extremely important part of keeping kids healthy, so why do children and even parents seem to dread visiting the dentist? Follow these helpful hints to ensure your next dental experience is a positive one.

Start visits early. It is recommended to see the dentist by your child’s first birthday. It is important to focus on prevention rather than treatment, so the sooner your child gets started, the better. Not to mention, starting early makes seeing the dentist a more routine and positive experience for your young one.

Paint the dentist as a friendly, helpful figure. If you have your own apprehensions about the dentist, avoid sharing them with your children. Prepare your child by reading books or by watching fun, informative videos online. Encourage your children that the dentist will give them a powerful smile they will want to show off to everyone.

Be careful with your words. Use positive phrases to make the visit seem like a fun time instead of a scary one. Avoid using words like “shot” or “hurt” and replace them with more kid-friendly words. For a list of suggestions, click here.

Emphasize the positive. Positive reinforcement in the form of compliments or small prizes like stickers can go a long way in motivating your child while at the dentist. Here at The Children’s Dental Center, your child will visit our Treasure Chest and will pick out a special prize that will leave them looking forward to their next visit.

Highlight the importance of oral hygiene. Teach your child that visiting the dentist is not a choice, it is a necessity. If your child wants to have strong teeth to eat with, they need to come to the dentist. It also helps to mention that going to the dentist will keep their smile shiny and bright for years to come.

Going to the dentist doesn’t need to be a scary or complicated process. While these steps seem simple, they can make a large impact on your child’s attitude towards the dentist. By following these tips, you will help your little one build enough confidence to last for a lifetime of checkups.

Chew on This: How Gum Can Help Your Teeth

If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy chewing some gum now and again. After all, it tastes great and helps give you nice fresh breath. Gum is good for more than just your breath, it can support a healthier mouth. Some brands of gum have even had their oral health benefits recognized by the American Dental Association. What are the ways that gum can help improve your oral health? Let’s find out!

To most, gum is seen as little more than candy and for some gums, that’s absolutely true. That’s why it’s important to first specify the gums we’re talking about here are sugar-free. The high sugar content gums are obviously not great for your teeth. So make sure you’re looking for gum that is sugar-free and approved by the ADA (look for the ADA seal).

So what exactly is this gum doing for your teeth? First off, the physical act itself of chewing gum helps protect your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth. For this reason, chewing gum for around 20 minutes following a meal has been proven to help in the prevention of cavities. This is because the extra saliva your mouth is producing helps wash off the acids that are produced by the bacteria in your mouth. In addition, the calcium and phosphate contained in the saliva support strong tooth enamel.

Even the sweeteners in sugar-free gum can help keep your teeth strong and cavity free. Xylitol, in particular, has been proven to have a host of benefits for your teeth’s health. Xylitol gum has been shown to have an enamel strengthening effect similar to fluoride, the mineral found in most toothpaste and mouthwashes. And the xylitol itself protects your teeth against bacteria as well as it has antibacterial effects. Xylitol stops bacteria from attaching to your teeth, inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, and slowing their ability to create cavities.

Having a piece of gum after dinner doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush before bed, but another cavity fighter in your mouth is always a plus! So if you’re looking for an easy (and tasty) way to help keep your teeth healthy and strong, grab a pack of your favorite gum and start chewing, your mouth will thank you. (Just make sure it is sugar-free!)

Resources:

http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/chewing-gum
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/three-benefits-of-sugar-free-gum-0214
https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/gum-chewing.html