Daniel Tiger Preps Your Kids for the Dentist
All parents understand the importance of taking their kids to the pediatrician, and thanks to robust education efforts there is significant knowledge about when and how often children should go.
However, the same can’t be said for taking your children to the dentist. There are lots of conflicting views online about when you should take your child for the first time and who they should visit.
Just like for doctors, there are both pediatric and family dentists. Here at Dr. Ku’s office, we are equipped to see all members of your family—even the youngest sprouting their first teeth.
Another barrier for taking your kids to the dentist can be anxiety…for both the parent and child. But today, new Daniel Tiger videos help us discuss the prevalence of dental anxiety that often starts early. This video, in particular, is perfect to prep your child for the first trip to the dentist.
Daniel Tiger is beloved in many households with children as he helps walk children through new stages of life. From new siblings to first days of school and even the first trip to the dentist, Daniel is easily relatable to kids.
In addition to watching this video with your children, we have provided some added best-practice tips below on how to encourage good oral health routines for children!
Building an oral health routine early
It’s important to begin a comprehensive oral health regimen with your children early so the habit is engrained before they reach the defiant toddler years. This includes getting infants used to something being in their mouth, namely a toothbrush.
Use a wet washcloth to gently wipe off your kids’ gums after nighttime feeding. As they start to grow teeth, transition to a child-sized tooth brush with a fluoride-based toothpaste and brush twice a day.
Childhood cavities effect approximately 42% of children aged 2 to 11, and if left unfixed can result in damage to the gums and jaw that will follow them into adulthood. Don’t let the illusion that “just because they are baby teeth” and will fall out decrease the importance of keeping these teeth healthy. Significant damage can be done below the gum line from poor oral health.
Minimize fear of the dentist
Studies have shown that more than 60% of adults have a fear of the dentist. In many instances, this stems from a childhood experience (or lack thereof) at the dentist.
Kids are great at reading body language and listening in on conversations that you don’t think they can hear. In order to combat these statistics, it’s on both the parents and on us to ensure your children are always having a good experience with their dental health and don’t suffer unwarranted anxiety about visits.
On our end, we will make each visit as inviting as possible and interact with every child to reassure them of what we’re doing. We ask parents, in turn, not to project any anxiety on their children—and possibly even offer an incentive for coming in. Whether that’s a trip for ice cream (don’t forget to brush your teeth after!) or a small toy or collection of stickers, having something to look forward to can make the whole process more enjoyable for everyone.
Investing in your children’s oral health is an investment in their future. From brushing to braces and everything in between, your kids’ smile is an import health and social aspect of their life. Keep ‘em bright and white for life by implementing a solid plan early!