This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. _Some kids are back in class while others getting ready to go back to school. Parents have new clothes checklists, new backpacks and supplies, but what about a healthy smile?

Some schools require a back-to-school dental exam. Either way, it’s a good time to schedule a dental visit for your child.

Dr. Jeff Dalin, from Dalin Dental talks about the different needs for different ages.

Ages 6 and under
At this age, your child might want to do all the brushing herself but doesn`t have the fine motor skills needed to do a thorough job. Let them start and jump in when needed.

Ages 7-12
By now, your child knows what to do, she just might not want to. Keep encouraging healthy brushing and flossing habits.

Ages 12-18
‘Part of this has to do with the fact that teenagers may have gone for many years and never had a cavity. They don`t necessarily take care of their teeth because they don`t see the consequence of not.’

For older children, avoid cramming in a dentist appointment right after day camp or school. ‘Not all kids have the energy to do that.’

If you`ve scheduled back-to-back appointments for your children, there`s a simple way to decide who goes first: Choose the child who`s had the most positive experiences at the dentist. Every child is going to be a little bit different in their temperament about how they approach a visit.

You generally want the ones first who are more successful because the others get to see how it goes.

  • A hungry child is not a happy patient
  • Feed your child a light meal before the appointment. ‘Hungry people are grouchy people.
  • Bonus points if your child brushes before an appointment. ‘It`s polite,’ Dr. Hayes says.
  • Leave Your Anxiety at the Door
  • If your heart races at the very thought of the dentist, your child can probably tell.

Keep cool if your child won`t cooperate

If your child gets upset during her visit, the worst thing you can do is swoop them out of the chair and leave. You still have to help them get through part of the visit.

To learn more visit: