You’ve bought the new backpack and school supplies - but have you scheduled your child’s back-to-school dental cleaning and checkup?
Regular dental visits are always important, but a back-to-school checkup is key in fighting the most common chronic disease found in school-age children, which is cavities. In fact, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year!
Following are our 8 steps to insuring that your child’s back-to-school checkup goes smoothly.
- Plan ahead. Between cookouts, camping trips and everything else on your family’s summer bucket list, it’s easy for school to sneak up on you. Planning ahead is good if you want to avoid the rush to go back to school in August.
- Encourage age-appropriate dental habits at home. The best kind of checkup is a cavity-free one. Moms and dads can help make this happen by encouraging kids to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day.
- Timing is everything. Time of day can make or break your child’s appointment. It’s important for a child of any age who’s used to a nap to not schedule during naptime – if your child is always cranky after waking up, factor that in too.
- Make one child a model. If you’ve scheduled back-to-back appointments for your children, there’s a simple way to decide who goes first - choose the child who’s had the most positive experiences at the dentist, so the others get to see how it goes.
- A hungry child is not a happy patient. Feed your child a light meal before the appointment. Hungry people are grouchy people - you want them to be comfortable. But make sure they brush before the appointment!
- Leave your anxiety at the door. If your heart races at the very thought of the dentist, your child can probably tell. The younger your kids are, the more you need to be aware of how you’re communicating with them.
- Keep cool if your child won’t cooperate. If your child gets upset during the visit, the worst thing you can do is swoop them out of the chair and leave. The next visit is going to be harder - you still have to help them get through part of the visit. Then, work as a team with your dentist to keep the visit going.
Don’t wait for the last-minute rush – call our office today to schedule your child’s back-to-school appointment!