Taking your child to the dentist can be a difficult journey, especially without the right preparation. Most children express fear and anxiety when going into the dental chair due to the scary looking utensils and uncertainty about the dental procedure. Rather than risk a tantrum or non-compliance, there are a few steps that you can take to make your child’s trip to the dentist much smoother and more enjoyable. By taking the right steps, you and your child can get in and out from the office quickly and without stress.
Visit the Dentist at an Early Age
One of the main reasons that children express fear about visiting the dentist is because they are unaware and unfamiliar with dental procedures. To protect your child’s teeth and to mitigate the chance of dental anxiety, it is best to schedule dental visits from an early age. As a general rule, you should start taking your child to the dentist at about six months. Six month is when your child’s first teeth begin to emerge and when you can get the information necessary to keep your child’s dental health in check. As your child gets older, you’ll want to take them to the dentist every six months. In addition to maintain dental health, it will also help your child feel more comfortable and prepared.
Foster a Sense of Trust
A lot about how a child feels at the dentist has to do with their sense to trust in you and the professional handling their teeth. When visiting the dentist, it is best to not build a child’s expectations by repeatedly telling them that everything is fine with their teeth. When you express this, the child will become less trusting if it is determined that a dental procedure is necessary. Instead, it is best to explain that a visit to the dentist is going to make sure that their teeth are “healthy and happy.”
Let Your Child Know About the Importance of Dental Health
Another way to prepare for your child’s dental visit is to inform them about how important their dental health is. Children are often worried and fussy about visiting the dentist because they don’t understand the purpose of visiting the dentist. With that, the best thing to do is to try a simulation dental visit or a fun activity about how important it is to clean and keep teeth in good condition. Regardless of whatever activity you choose, you should always avoid bribing your child to behave. This will send the wrong message about the dentist and make future visits more difficult.
Find a Kid-Friendly Dentist
Finally, the importance of a good dentist cannot be over emphasized. When choosing a dentist, you want to make sure that the dentist is kid friendly and able to communicate with children. By doing the research and taking the time to choose the right professional, you can make your experience and your child’s experience positive, easy, and stress-free.
Dr. O’Donnell is a dentist in Centreville VA that is very experienced with dentistry for children. Call us today to schedule an appointment!