For kids, and even some adults, the sights and sounds of the dentist office can be scary. These fears could be born from previous dental experiences, anxiety disorders, or just not knowing what to expect. Many people avoid seeing the dentist for preventative care resulting in poor oral health. Parents often dread the thought of taking their child for those necessary visits due to their fears. Luckily, there are some things that can be done to alleviate those fears.
Normalize the Practice of Visiting the Dentist Early and In a Positive Manner
Get your child in to see the dentist as early as possible, preferably before there is a problem. Start when your child reaches the age of 1 or when the first tooth breaks through, whichever is earlier. Be positive when discussing dental procedures and visits – theirs or your own.
If your child is one of these apprehensive patients, it is important that you let your dentist know and that you ask about what assistance is available to help them get through their visit. From your first contact with the dental practice, let them know about any fears and gauge their response. If they trivialize or don’t take your concerns seriously, find another practice. Remember that you are your child’s advocate.
Be Prepared for a Little Pushback
Your being present with your child is often the only thing they will need to get through their dental appointments. But you should keep in mind that there will probably be some level of anxiety and pushback from your child, and that your dental office professionals are used to that. They will be able to suggest the best ways that you can help during the visit.
Offer Something Other than Sweets as a Reward
Your child’s dentist will discuss avoiding sugars and eating healthy, so don’t contradict this with promises of ice cream and candy for good behavior.
Express the Importance of Oral Health
Share with your child why dental visits and proper at-home care is so important. Advise them that their dentist is there to partner with them to ensure they have strong and beautiful teeth throughout their lives.
If you have any questions about how we can help your child be more comfortable in the office, or if you’d like to schedule your child’s next appointment, call us at 562-434-6414 or click here to make your request online!