Did you know that kids who are anxious about going to the dentist are more likely to have dental diseases? Studies suggest that their family’s quality of life is also impacted by their anxiety.
There are several things you can do to help alleviate some of your child’s dental fear. Keep reading to find our tips on making your child’s next dental visit a success.
Start Going Early
The earlier you take them to the dentist, the better. Routine checkups help your dentist keep tabs on your child’s oral health. They also teach your child that going to the dentist is a regular part of life.
Your child’s first dental visit should be before their first birthday. Their visits should then continue regularly throughout their childhood and adolescence.
Don’t Surprise Them
One surefire way to make your child even more anxious is to spring it on them without warning. Part of the fear of going to the dentist is the unknown so talking with them about it beforehand is essential.
Before their appointment, explain what is likely to happen at their visit. They will need to sit in a big chair and open wide for the dentist to look at their teeth. Ensure them that you’ll be with them the entire time.
This is a good time to explain to them the importance of good oral hygiene.
Do not overwhelm your child with too many details. Avoid mentioning the types of tools the dentist might use as it can make the visit scarier.
Choose the Right Dentist
Be intentional as you choose the best dentist for your child’s oral health. The right dentist can make all the difference.
Pediatric dentists take two additional years of training to learn more about the unique dental needs of infants and children. Not only are these dentists more adept in childhood oral health, but their offices are more child-oriented, too.
Pediatric dental offices look like playgrounds. They are brightly colored and often have toys and video games to distract your children in the waiting room. Many pediatric offices have televisions about the dental chair so your child can watch TV to distract them from their visit.
Do a Trial Run
As you already know, the fear of the unexpected is part of what causes dental anxiety in the first place. Playing dentist with your child at home is a fun way to get them ready for the real thing.
Pretend you’re the dentist and then let your child pretend to be the dentist. This can help your child get acquainted with the process so their first visit isn’t so overwhelming.
Some dentists might allow for a pre-appointment visit. Give your office a call to see if this is an option in your area. They might give you and your child a tour of the office and allow you to meet the dental team before their appointment.
Making Your Child’s First Dental Visit a Success
Seeing the dentist doesn’t have to be scary or stressful. With a little bit of creativity and patience, you can help make their first dental visit less frightening.
Keep browsing our Lifestyle and Health blogs for more helpful tips for parents.