Parents brushing their own teeth along with their child to model good habits is another good tip. Reading tooth related books with them like Dr. DeSoto or Bernstein Bears and talking up the experience positively about going to the dentist are also good places to start.
Dr. Husain: When it comes to seeing the dentist, is there any special words or encouragement you recommend? Just make sure to explain to the child in a way they understand it. I feel that generally speaking, dentists are very good about not even seeing the needle so no need to warn about the child getting a shot and increase anticipation and anxiety.
Dr. Adam Silevitch: Absolutely. When parents project their own fears of the dentist it can translate to their child being fearful for their dental visits.
Dr. Husain: With Valentine’s Day coming around the corner, chocolate and sugary candies are everywhere. No candy ever isn’t really a practical option but are there smarter candy choiceS?
Dr. Adam Silevitch: Definitely. Not all candy is created equal. Sticky, chewy, gummy candies are the worst offenders and should be avoided. And chocolate is totally ok, but not just any chocolate. Dark chocolate tends to be the least processed making it better for your teeth.
Dr. Husain: Oh yay! I love dark chocolate!
Dr. Adam Silevitch: I like the idea of the “Candy Fairy”- after the candy has been put away for the evening, explain to your child that the Candy Fairy will come and replace their candy stash with a special toy they have had their eye on. The candy will soon be a thing of the past!
Dr. Husain: Oh that’s a good idea! I like idea of a sweets swap… not having your avoid sweets altogether, but a few healthier alternatives.
Dr. Adam Silevitch: Right. Children will have their teeth and likely their bellies, too just a little happier. Think chocolate-covered strawberries or melon cut cute shapes. Lollipop alternatives are another option.
Dr. Husain: Oh wow, what are those?
Dr. Adam Silevitch: Sugar-free Xylitol lollipops…They are a great alternative to traditional lollipops except they don’t cause cavities, and in fact stimulate saliva production to help wash teeth!
Stay tuned for more with Dr. Adam Silevitch DMD in a few weeks for another interview on pediatric dental health. To learn more about Dr. Silevitch’s practice in New York, visit https://pdnyc.com/.