Imagine lying back on a sterile operating table, foreign surgical tools shining on a tray nearby, with a masked physician looming over you. Scary, right? For your child, going to the dentist can feel the same way.
The fear of the unknown could trigger your child’s dental anxiety, which could compromise their dental health. Read on to learn what to expect during a visit to a kids’ dentist in Elizabethtown, KY. After reading this guide, you can prepare yourself and your child for their appointment!
Before seeing your child’s pediatric dentist, you’ll need to fill out paperwork for your child. This paperwork can cover:
- Your child’s medical history
- Your child’s dental history
- Previous treatments they received
During this time, provide the dental practice’s staff with a copy of your insurance information. Let them know if you have a dental savings plan. Preparing this paperwork ahead of time can save you time during the appointment.
Instead of filling out paperwork, you can focus on keeping your child calm and reassured.
As you wait to see the dentist, you may notice your child feels nervous. Talk to your child about what they can expect. Let them know why routine visits are important.
You can read them books about going to the dentist or play videos on YouTube to ease their fear of the dentist.
X-rays of your child’s jaw and teeth will give the dentist a detailed look at your child’s oral health development. You can accompany your child into the room to keep them comfortable.
For some children, this is the scariest part of visiting their dentist. Reassure your child and help them remain calm. The process won’t hurt and doesn’t take much time.
A dental technician will need to cover your child’s body with a lead apron. The apron reduces their radiation exposure from the X-rays.
Your child will need to bite down on trays (a completely painless process) during the imaging process. The trays will help the X-ray get a clear picture of your child’s teeth.
You’ll need to step out of the room briefly while the X-rays are taken.
Regular Dental Cleaning
Some dental practices start with a regular dental cleaning first. Others start with an initial exam, completed by pediatric dentist.
About 87% of children have visited their dentist in the past year for a regular dental cleaning. Meanwhile, over 13% of children have untreated dental caries. Routine dental cleanings and preventative dental care can safeguard your child’s smile.
You should schedule appointments at your child’s dental clinic every six months. These appointments allow the hygienist to remove plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth and gums.
Otherwise, their risk of tooth decay or gum disease will increase.
During a routine dental cleaning, the hygienist will:
- Use scalers to remove tartar
- Polish and clean your child’s teeth
- Rinse out your child’s mouth
- Floss your child’s teeth
- Apply fluoride treatment
You can remain with your child during their cleaning to keep them happy and calm. If you have a younger child, you can hold them in your lap during their cleaning. Older children can listen to music or watch TV during this process.
The Initial Exam
Once your child’s X-rays are ready, your dentist can inspect the images and your child’s teeth.
Your Elizabethtown kids’ dentist will recline the patient’s chair and encourage your child to lie back. The dentist will then inspect their teeth and gums for abnormalities or signs of cavities.
They may use special tools to examine your child’s teeth, including a dental mirror, scaler, or probe.
Before the dentist begins their exam, let them know if your child has dental anxiety. Between 9 and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of dental anxiety or fear. Signs of dental phobia include:
- Trouble sleeping before appointments
- Crying at the thought of visiting the dentist
- Feeling ill at the thought of going to the dentist
- Escalating feelings of nervousness
An experienced pediatric dentist will have processes in place for easing a child’s dental anxiety. For example, they may recommend sedation dentistry services. Keeping your child sedated during the exam will keep them calm.
The dentist will have an easier time assessing their baby teeth and developing smiles.
Discuss Preventative Dental Care
After completing their exam, your Elizabethtown dentist will discuss their findings. They can recommend specific treatments or at-home dental health care tips. For example, the dentist might show you and your child the proper technique for brushing and flossing.
Look for a dentistry for children that prioritizes preventative dental care in your area. Prevention techniques can help your child avoid cavities and gum disease.
Let your dentist know if you have any concerns about your child’s dental health. For example, you can ask about:
- Pain or discomfort your child experienced
- Thumb-sucking or pacifier habits
- Dietary concerns
- Plaque build up
- Gum and teeth sensitivity
- Brushing and flossing techniques
- Braces for alignment issues
Many parents get sidetracked during appointments. It’s normal to forget what questions you want to ask. Consider writing down your questions before your child’s appointment.
If your pediatric dentist notices signs of tooth decay or gum disease, they’ll recommend treatments. They can offer some services during the same appointment. In other cases, you’ll need to schedule a follow-up for your child’s procedure.
For example, a dental filling is a quick procedure. The dentist might recommend a fluoride treatment to protect your child’s enamel.
In rare cases, a child may need a tooth extraction or pulpectomy for more severe decay.
Visit a Kids’ Dentist in Elizabethtown, KY
Going to the dentist doesn’t have to feel stressful for you or your child. Instead, visit Elizabethtown Dentistry for Children, the best kids’ dentist in Elizabethtown, KY. They’ll help put your child at ease, allowing you to relax during appointments.
With help from the best pediatric dentist in Elizabethtown, KY, you can improve your child’s dental health.
Our goal at Elizabethtown Dentistry for Children is to teach children how to establish good oral health habits. Our compassionate team can’t wait to see you both and help your child get the right dental treatments! Contact us today to schedule your child’s next dental appointment.