Texas Living

Get Your Kids Ready for the Dentist

By Staci Parks 2.7.24

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and it’s a good reminder that what’s going on in our mouths can impact our overall health, too.

Some health conditions — such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia — can be linked to poor oral health, which can lead to cavities, according to the Mayo Clinic. Cavities, the most common chronic disease in children in the United States, can impact a child’s ability to eat, speak, play, and learn when left untreated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How to Prepare Your Kids for a Visit to the Dentist

The sights, sounds, and smells of a dental office can be overwhelming for children and adults alike. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up tips for preparing young Texans for the dentist, whether they’re first-timers or seasoned visitors. 

  • Choose the right dentist. Consider a pediatric dentist. These dentists specialize in treating dental problems in infants, children, and teens. Often, these offices are kid-centric with bright walls, colorful décor, and staff who are used to working with children.
  • Read books. Seeing beloved characters or similarly aged kids sit for a dental checkup can make the process feel less scary. Try Dr. Seuss’ “The Tooth Book” or “Dentist Trip,” which chronicles George and Peppa Pig’s trip to the dentist.
  • Use positive reinforcement. If your child is nervous or scared, validate their feelings while praising them for being brave. Let them know how proud you are of them!
  • Let them play. An age-appropriate dental playset can help kids get comfortable with the tools they might see during their visit.

There are things you can do at home daily to make dentist trips less daunting:

  • Brush and floss. Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day, ideally at two-minute intervals. Once your child has two teeth that touch, it’s time to start flossing at least once a day, according to Stanford Medicine Children’s Health.
  • Limit sugar and acidic food items. These concoctions can erode teeth’s enamel and increase the risk of cavities. While you don’t have to completely ban these from your kid’s diet, it’s best not to have them right before bed — especially after completing the nightly teeth-brushing routine.
  • Use your teeth for food only. It can be tempting to chomp down to open stubborn packaging, but this puts your teeth at risk of chipping or loosening.

Get the Right Coverage

Typically, your run-of-the-mill health insurance will not cover trips to the dentist unless it’s part of the plan. (Always check your plan’s coverage details.) Having the right dental coverage for your family’s needs can help curb the cost of dentist visits. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance offers DentalVision, a plan that bundles dental and vision coverage into one convenient package. Here are some plan highlights:

  • Rates start at less than $2 per person per day.
  • The plan’s annual deductible is $50 for an individual or $150 for a family.
  • You can get first-day coverage for routine exams and cleanings, which are not subject to the plan’s deductible.

Take time to weigh your options. Learn more about the DentalVision plan.

Check out our complete guide to staying healthy in Texas for other health-enhancing tips.

© 2024 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance