When you make appointments with the dentist, do you schedule one person's appointment one week, and another family member's appointment a few weeks after that? If so, you might want to rethink your approach. Many family dentists will work with you to schedule the whole family's appointments back-to-back. And there are a lot of advantages of doing things this way.
1. You save yourself some driving.
Presumably some of the members of your family are too young to drive themselves to the dentist, so as a parent, you can end up taking a lot of trips to and from the dental office if your appointments are scattered all through the year. Not only is this a waste of time, but it's also a waste of gasoline. If you take everyone to the dentist at once, you will only have to take one block of time off from work, and you'll use less gas. You win, your employer wins, and the planet wins!
2. The dentist can compare your teeth.
When everyone in the family visits the dentist at the same time, the dentist and dental hygienist are more able to look for patterns in tooth condition. For instance, they might notice that everyone in the family has thin enamel, which might lead them to question whether you're all getting enough fluoride — which might lead them to recommend you all switch to a brand of bottled water with fluoride added. Or they might notice you are all developing cavities, which will prompt them to recommend you eat less sugar. The dentist and hygienist are less likely to notice these patterns if they see one family member in December and another in February.
3. Your family members can offer each other support.
The little ones might be a bit nervous about seeing the dentist, and even some older kids have dental anxiety. If you all have appointments at once, you can be there to support each other. The younger kids can watch as you or the older kids get their teeth cleaned so they realize there's nothing to worry about. And if someone is still nervous, they have their choice of family members to hold their hands.
Give your family dentist a call, and see if you can move all of your appointments to the same day. There are so many benefits of seeing the dentist at once, and it is a good bonding experience.