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Dentists offer parenting advice

Author John Thompson
Submitted 28-05-2008

Despite the stickers and lollipops on offer, persuading children to visit the dentist can sometime be a difficult task for parents.

In order to help moms and dads with this issue, the Chicago Dental Society recently polled over 300 dentists and collated their parenting advice, State Point Media reported.

Among the parenting skills mentioned when it comes to dental visits is the recommendation that parents should try and play down the importance of a visit to the dentist and not build up fears before going.

One of the main things they can also do is to begin taking their son or daughter to the dentist from an early age. The dentists questioned suggested six months – or around the time when the child’s first tooth appears – as a good time.

In addition, parents could find it useful to distract their kids with toys, cartoons or coloring books while in the waiting room to keep them calm.

However, the key thing mentioned by dentists was the importance of parents themselves relaxing, so that their children do not pick up on their anxiety.

When it comes to other aspects of their child’s oral care, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents should also try to make tooth-brushing a "fun" experience in order to encourage their kids to get into good habits.