Single mothers trying to take care of a child have to work hard to set a great example for their child. For example, they need to do what they can to model great dental behaviors that help a child not only keep their teeth healthy but also react well to their first trip to a family dentist.
Setting an Early Precedent Helps Children With Dentists
Young children often don't quite know why dental care is so important. They may not enjoy brushing their teeth and may struggle with flossing. For a single mother of an only child, this can be tougher because the child may be stubborn or struggle to accept authority without another parent present. Thankfully, mothers can set a good example by modeling proper brushing and flossing techniques.
For example, they can brush and floss with the child and make it a competition to see who can cover their teeth the best. The idea is to inspire the child to interact with their mother in a way that is fun, engaging, and relaxing. In this way, the child can connect the act of taking care of their teeth with more enjoyable situations. And a mother can then prepare her child for their first trip to the dentist.
Preparing a Child for a First Dentist Visit
Once a parent has set very good examples for their child's dental care, they need to set an appointment at the dentist. The best way to approach this situation is to work with a family dentist who works with both adults and children. This helps to create a coherent level of care between the child and the parent that connects the two of them in a way that may be hard to do otherwise.
Just as importantly, the parent needs to stay with the child during the visit and hold their hand if they get afraid. This presence helps the child know that everything is okay when they visit a dentist the first time. And this type of presence may be continually necessary for a child if they show any fear. Eventually, they will be able to handle their dental care alone without having to have their parent near.
And as the child ages, it is wise to keep going to the same family dental clinic together. This step helps a single mother and her child feel more connected in their health care. Even better, it helps the mother track her child's progress in a way that may be hard to do otherwise. And the child can build a relationship with the dentist that may last for years after they are old enough to pay for their own care.