First Trip To The Pediatric Dentist: 4 Tips For Reducing Unnecessary Fear
When it comes to your oral care routine, going to the dentist every six months is crucial. The same can be said for your children. The dentist examines the teeth and performs an extensive cleaning that will successfully remove any plaque build-up that has accumulated since your last appointment. Although going to the dentist for a routine exam and cleaning is simple and straightforward for you, it doesn't mean that your child is going to feel the same way. In fact, many children are scared to go to the dentist. Some do not fully comprehend why they need to go and what is going to occur when they get there. So, if you have a child that is scared about visiting the pediatric dentist, here are a few tips that can be implemented to help encourage a smooth process:
1. Start Dental Visits at an Early Age.
When your child goes to the pediatric dentist for the first time, the visit should be informal, relaxed and simple. In fact, it should be more of a meet-and-greet than anything else. This allows your child to meet the dentist, visit the office and get a feel for the process. This can often help push any fears and concerns that your child may have about the dentist to the back of their mind. The earlier that you can get your little one to the dentist, the better things will be in the long run. Ultimately, your child should visit the dentist by the time they turn one or within six months after that first baby tooth comes through.
2. Refrain from Using Negative and Scary Words.
One of the last things that you want to do it to use words that will instill fear into your child. Don't even mention in passing words like pain, drill, shot, hurt and other words of similar nature. However, it is okay to inform your child that the dentist is going to look in their mouth, count to see how many teeth they have and see if there are "sugar bugs" hiding.
3. Make Sure You Realize Your Own Fear (If Any).
Studies show that your fear of the dentist can be passed on to your child. So, you need to understand your own fears before you can help your child feel safe about going to the dentist. Make sure that you are not expressing your own fear of the dentist in front of your child. After all, if mom or dad are scared, the child is likely going to be terrified.
4. Offer a Sneak Preview at Home.
Before the dental appointment, and as frequently as you can to reduce fear, play dentist and patient with your child. You can take turns so that each of you get to examine the other's teeth. You can count how many teeth are in the mouth and even brush each other's teeth. This helps to show your child how the appointment will go and that there is nothing truly frightening about having another person's hands in their mouth.
The above four tips will help keep your child from panicking over little things regarding a visit to the dentist. If you want to learn more about the first appointment and what to expect, contact a local pediatric dentist like Kids Dental Tree.