Taking your kids to the pediatric dentist is a vital part of keeping their teeth healthy and installing good dental hygiene practices from a young age. But oftentimes for younger children, the dentist can be a new and scary place.
Here are some essential practices to help ease your child and overcome their fear of the dentist and help prepare them for future appointments.
1) Start Young
It’s important to introduce your child to the dentist and find a dental home as soon as possible. Their first visit should fall before or at their one year birthday or when the first tooth is visible.
2) Keep it Simple
When talking about the dentist with your child, keep your language simple and don’t go into too many details about what could happen. Keep an upbeat and positive attitude.
Try to avoid language such as shot, pain, cavity, etc. that could make your child fearful before the appointment. Instead use words like clean, healthy and sparkling.
3) Prepare Well
Before the appointment there are several things you can do to ease your child’s concerns.
Take a trip to the office so both of you are familiar with the location and staff members. You could also have a run through with a doll or stuffed animal. There are also children’s books that can help give your child an idea of what to expect.
4) Plan for Tantrums
Especially if your child is in the baby or toddler stage, you should prepare for some crying, whining and fussing. Pediatric dentists and their employees are prepared for this reaction, so listen to their advice about how to comfort your child.
After the visit, praise your child especially if it was a tantrum-free appointment.
5) Emphasize the Importance
It’s essential for your child to understand the importance of good oral hygiene as early as possible. Explain that visits to the dentist are a necessity and will keep their smile sparkling, white and healthy. Use colorful toothbrushes and good tasting toothpaste, so brushing their teeth is also fun at home.
At Dentistry for Children and Adolescents, we work hard to ensure children feel safe and the overall experience is a pleasant one with toys, games and friendly faces.