One of the greatest joys of parenthood is seeing my children smile. Even on bad days their happy grins make everything seem a little better.
I try to keep those smiles healthy and looking great by scheduling regular dental exams and teaching them how to care for their teeth.
A great way to teach young children about oral health is by having them tag along with older siblings to the dentist’s office.
My 3 year old and I accompanied her older brother to a recent check up. Besides having fun on this little outing, my daughter got to see up close what going to the dentist is all about. Since she has her first appointment soon, I think it’ll help her know what to expect in what could otherwise be a stressful situation.
After we headed back to the exam area my toddler got the lay of the land. I showed her how the dentist’s chair moves up and down, and the neato sink where patients rinse during check ups.
She was fascinated during her brother’s cleaning, and the sweet dental hygienist was great with her!
She learned all about the importance of brushing, flossing, and rinsing from our dentist. We talked about our routine at home: brushing after breakfast and before bed, using their fun flossers regularly, and for my oldest child, rinsing with Listerine Smart Rinse (he loves the Phineas and Ferb Bubble Blast flavor!).
It was a great way to reinforce what we’re doing at home to prevent cavities.
After her brother’s cleaning she hopped in the chair with him, and she even got to pick a toy from the treasure chest! She’s excited about her appointment that’s coming up, and I’m so glad she has an idea of what she can expect.
Has your toddler had his or her first dental appointment? How’d it go?
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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I received products from Johnson & Johnson as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Kids Cavity-Free School Year Program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Click here to see more of the discussion.