Dentists recommend that we and our children go into the office for a cleaning and check-up every six months. Unfortunately for kids, this tends to fall smack-dab in the middle of the school year. Parents often struggle with the thought of taking their child out of school for a dental appointment - but there are very good reasons to do so.
Young children, as well as anxious children, have been found to be much more cooperative during the morning hours. They arent as tired, and they have an easier time relaxing. Young children that go to the dentist in the afternoon after a long day at school often arrive tired, upset and unwilling to cooperate.By scheduling an appointment in the morning, you can predispose your child to a positive dental experience, rather than a negative one.
With more involved procedures, such as restorative dental treatments, there are added benefits to scheduling your childs appointment in the morning. Some require the child to be on an empty stomach for many hours before the procedure, and this can be a lot to ask of your child while at school.
Most routine check-ups will allow children to go back to school, and shouldnt take up much of their day, however more taxing treatments may require that they take the rest of the day to rest.That being said, its important to work around your childs school schedule to find the best day for the appointment.Speak with his or her teacher and find out whats going on in school over the next few weeks. There will likely be a particular day that the teacher would rather the student miss over others.
If you already have an appointment scheduled, find out if there are any assignments that your child will be missing on that day, and work with the teacher to find a way to make them up or do them from home perhaps they can even be done while in the waiting room at the dentists office.
Scheduling dental appointments around school can make life rough for caregivers, but when it comes to the health of the child, especially dental health, its important to make accommodations and teachers will understand.
Be sure to speak with your dental care provider to find out what sort of scheduling policies they may have, and to find out what they recommend for your child.
Kevin Coutino is a freelance writer for River Bluff Dental, a leading provider of world-class general and cosmetic dentistry in the Minneapolis area, led by Dr. Walter J. Palmer, DDS.