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Back to School & Back to the Dentist

Back to school means back to the dentist! Huh? That’s right! Back to school dental visits should be added to your back to school checklist. Did you know that dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year? That’s why it’s tantamount to schedule your back to school dental visit with Eckland Family Dentistry before heading back to school. Here are a few tips for back to school smiles!

Be Ahead of the Game

It’s easy to lose track of time with all the summer fun! Between events, pool parties, and backyard barbecues visits with the dentist are long forgotten. School season always sneaks up when we least expect it leaving families trying to schedule during August, which is one of our busiest months here at Eckland Family Dentistry. To be ahead of the game and save your date, call your dentist at the beginning of summer schedule the appointment well in advance!

Start them Young

Teaching children about oral hygiene while they’re young sets them up for a successful future. Enforcing a beneficial hygiene routine enables children to create good habits and good oral health – what a win! We recommend starting as soon as that first baby tooth pops through and reminding your children to brush twice a day and to floss as well. Wondering about your child’s specific age, not to worry – here’s a breakdown:

Six and Under:

Being independent is everything at this age. They want to do everything by themselves and while we totally get it, it comes with a caveat too! Letting them brush independently allows them to practice good brushing technique and feel independent. However, we recommend following up behind them.

Following behind our children can help get those new teeth and hard to reach places that weren’t there a few months ago. As their mouth grows we have to encourage their independence while also encouraging optimal oral health!

7-12 years

This is the age where children know how and what to do when it comes to brushing and routine. It’s no surprise that they may give a little pushback but reminders about the significance or oral health and routine are necessary. The old adage monkey see monkey do, exists for a reason! If they see mom and or dad continuing healthy practices it’s more likely that they will too!

12-18 years

Certainly one of the more crucial times for dental health. In this age range we typically notice that children start to have that feeling of invisibility. The “it can’t happen to me” mantra. Therefore, children who may not have had a cavity by now think their teeth will remain perfect no matter what. As children become more involved in extracurriculars, school work, and social circles they tend to cut back on things like flossing and brushing. As parents it’s important to help them understand that these habits carry over to their adult years. Encourage them to make well informed dental decisions for the now but also for their futures.

Forget the Fears

Are you a parent with dental anxiety? We know you, we see you, and we don’t judge you. We’re here to help smiles of all ages from your kids to you! Children can easily sense the changes in their parents whether it’s body language, tone of voice or facial expressions. That’s why it’s important to model for your children. Even if you are having some dental fear, put on that smile and fake it until you make it!

Get on their level

Children can become upset at their visit which usually results in mom or dad getting frazzled, or leaving before the teeth are even assessed. This reinforces negative experiences at the dentist making that next visit far more challenging. Try to remember that having fears is common! Sometimes we need to get on their level and try to understand the behavior. Are they acting out to get to you a rise out of you, to get what they want, or are they acting out because this is a new experience or an experience that they feel no control over.

At Eckland Family Dentistry in Redmond with Dr. Kale or Dr. Colby, Everett, and Woodinville we work with you to help make this your experience the best it can be. If your child is acting out, don’t worry we understand. We want to work together with you as a team to make sure your child feels at ease, their teeth can be examined and cleaned, and that your child wants to return.