It’s an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people. Not only that, but there’s also odd devices, many of which are designed to enter your child’s mouth. There’s odd noises and odd smells. If all of this isn’t already enough to make your young child apprehensive about getting a professional teeth cleaning at the dentist, consider the fact that your child is also likely to pick up on any anxiety you may be feeling toward the dentist – and suffice to say that going to the dentist isn’t exactly like a day trip to Disneyland for most adults.
With all this being said, just how do you go about alleviating any potential fears your child may have about going to the dentist? Here’s a look at three tips:
Properly prepare them
If you tell your kids bad things about the dentist, they’re not going to have good thoughts going into the appointment. So prepare them properly and well before it’s time for their appointment, whether it’s their first time or they’ve already been. Explain to them what a dentist does and why it’s important to have regular teeth cleanings. Consider checking out some children’s books on the matter from your library or finding that one episode of your child’s favorite show that portrays a positive experience at the dentist. The sooner you begin to “talk up” the dentist – and with enthusiasm and positivity – the better experience they’ll have and the more relaxed they’ll be when it comes to their appointment.
Start them young
According to most dental professionals, they say your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth. For many families, however, this is a bit impractical – but starting your child young can help alleviate fear and anxiety about the dentist because as they grow older, it will simply be something that they’ve always done twice a year. It becomes habitual, even if it may not always be enjoyable. Start them young and get them acquainted with the dentist sooner for better long-term results, both when it comes to their oral health and attitudes toward the dentist. You may even schedule your appointment or the appointment of an older sibling at the same time as yours to help ease fear and anxiety.
Choose the right dental practice
Last but not least, it’s important to choose the right dental practice when it comes to having your child’s teeth cleaned. It goes without saying that some people are good with kids and other aren’t – and dentists are no exception. A dentist who is patient, kind, funny and even a little silly can make a world of difference and put a child at ease compared to one that is all business. Do your homework when it comes to your kids and the dentist. While you may love the dentist you go to, it may not be the right fit for your child. Don’t be afraid to shop around a little bit or ask your parenting peers to find the right fit. You can also speak with the dentist beforehand to cue them in on any potential anxiety issues your child is dealing with.
For more information and tips on how to alleviate your child’s fears about the dentist, contact Caven Dental today.