Can Your Child Eat Before a Dentist Appointment?

    When taking your child to a pediatric dentistry appointment, it is perfectly fine for them to eat beforehand. In fact, it can make the dentist appointment much more pleasant for everyone. There are some food choices that are best, and some to be cautious of. Here are our tips for making sure your child’s teeth and gums are ready for their close up!

    Avoid Carbs

    Try to avoid a high carb meal, like cereals, breads, or pasta. These will give your child an initial energy jolt that may cause difficulty keeping him or her still during the appointment. Then, once the blood sugar levels go back to normal, their energy is zapped and his or her stress level may increase. If they are already anxious, this just adds to the anxiety of the dental appointment. They may become restless and irritable.

    Choose Protein

    A high protein meal is a much better choice. This type of meal will keep your child satisfied for at least three hours. Eggs, nuts, fish, and unprocessed meats are all good choices. The goal is to make sure that your child feels full during the entire appointment so they don’t get restless.

    Preparing Your Child’s Teeth for the Visit

    Prepare your child’s teeth before the visit. For infants and young children, dentists always recommend that the baby’s mouth be cleaned after each feeding. You should definitely do this before the dental visit. Wipe the baby’s mouth out with a clean wet cloth and use a soft-bristled infant toothbrush to brush any teeth that have erupted.  Simply cradle the head with one hand and use your other hand to wipe the baby’s mouth out.

    For older children, dental hygiene is learned at home, so help your child learn how to prepare their teeth for the dental visit. When children reach age 5, they can usually brush on their own. Have the child gently brush their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush after a meal. If the child has had milk or juice, have them brush again or at least rinse the mouth. During the visit, the dentist will discuss limiting your child’s intake of sugary beverages, which are fermentable carbohydrates that lead to decay if the teeth are not cleansed after drinking.

    For brushing, be sure that you are using fluoride toothpaste for older children, but not for children under one year of age.

    Have the child floss before the visit, or floss your child’s teeth. If you see any gum irritation or bleeding, discuss it with the dentist at the visit.

    As you prepare, just remember these tips we’ve offered, and also remember that your demeanor and attitude have a significant influence on how your child perceives the dental visit. If you’re anxious, your child will be too. Try to remain calm and relaxed— you and your child will be in good hands with FUNtastic Pediatric Dental. Your children will love our team and our office, and we will discuss all those dental hygiene good habits with you when you get here. Call us today at 562-912-2007 to schedule your appointment or reach out online.