Content reviewed by Dr. James of Londonderry Dental Choice.
Are you looking for help with your child’s pediatric dentist anxiety?
Your kids grow up fast, and you want them to be as healthy as possible — but sometimes that means exposing them to situations they might not be happy with. While recommendations on the exact age vary, your child should be seeing a dentist when they have fully grown teeth. Going to the dentist can be intimidating the first time — and even when they’ve been to a few visits, your little one might still be nervous.
If you’re a parent who worries about easing your child’s dental fear, here are four tips to help you learn how to prep your child for the dentist.
1. Go for a Pre-Appointment Visit
When a child suffers from anxiety before a trip to the dentist, most of the fear comes from imagined scenarios. Your little one is probably also scared to be in a stranger’s hands. If your dentist allows it, you may want to ask whether you can arrange a little pre-appointment meet-and-greet to ease your child’s mind.
Meeting the staff, becoming familiar with the office environment and hearing about their teeth cleaning will make your child more comfortable when the day of the appointment comes. Plus, your dentist will have a chance to get to know your little one’s needs and begin the basis of a good dental relationship.
2. Stay Positive and Simple
In the time leading up to the appointment, your child might pepper you with a variety of questions and concerns about the dentist. Because children pick up on cues and mimic parents’ behavior, it’s important to remain calm and positive when you prepare them for their visit — even if you’re a little anxious yourself.
Keep your language and your approach positive, and mention that the dentist’s job is to keep them healthy. Make sure not to mention any negative dental experiences you’ve had in the past, and don’t use any words associated with pain — like hurt, shot or needle.
In addition to staying positive about the dentist, keep your descriptions short and simple — don’t make any promises or mention any rewards.
3. Explain the Importance of Oral Health
Children will be less likely to worry about a dentist appointment if they understand why it’s important. Make sure to explain to your child that visiting the dentist is part of a healthy lifestyle. Keeping their teeth and gums clean is something you should help your kids become enthusiastic about. Over time, maybe they’ll even look forward to their regular dentist visits!
4. See a Family-Friendly Dentist
You’ll be much less likely to say “my child freaks out at the dentist” when you take them to a dentist who knows how to handle children. Dental Choice is an Alberta family dental clinic that strives to offer friendly dental services for kids and adults alike. Contact us today to schedule your child’s appointment.