Bring your child to the dentist as early as possible. The more familiar they are with the environment the more comfortable they will be when it actually comes time for a cleaning. Even if they come as a guest of you or a sibling getting them exposed to the atmosphere is extremely beneficial to their own opinion and feelings about the dentist.
Play Pretend Dentist Visit
Children have very vivid imaginations so put their minds to good use by making a trip to the dentist within the comfort of you own home. Doing this around the time they brush their teeth can help because then oral hygiene doesn’t feel like a chore: it feels like a game. Hold up a mirror for them to hold and use safe items like Q-tips or even their toothbrush to act like a dentist. Remember to be gentle and fun! If they ask and you are comfortable let them try it on you too. Children can become much more comfortable with an activity if they follow your example.
Avoid Scary Words
Children can be easily intimidated by vocabulary they dont understand. Allow your dentist and his or her hygienists to develop a language with your child that they will feel comfortable and adapt to that. Additionally scary words to children could be too many reassurances. Avoid saying that everything will be fine, because if you child ends up needing a treatment, he might lose trust in both the dentist and you, advises Joel H. Berg, D.D.S., M.S., Director of the Department of Dentistry at Seattle Childrens Hospital. If your child starts to ask questions about visiting the dentist, give them straightforward, honest answers but dont use too much detail or jargon.
Avoid Telling Your Own Stories
Though you might think this will help them relax, dont tell your child detailed accounts of your own dentist visits. Though it seems inconsequential to you, a single slip could frighten your child about his or her experience. If they ask you if you have been to the dentist before, simply tell them yes, and it is nothing to be afraid of.
Bribing children to get what you want them to do can cause stress in your child. They will think that there is a reason for them to be scared or worried about going to the dentist. Offering emotional support will be more useful to your child than a lollipop or another toy.
Consider a Pediatric Dentist
If your child feels particularly frightened by the family dentist a pediatric dentist office may help them feel at home more. An office with games and a childrens waiting area will put them at ease before their appointment. Be cautious though of other children in the waiting room; if they see another child visibly upset it could manipulate their own fears. If this happens simply remove your child from that stressful environment.
Emphasize Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is like homework for the dentist; explain to your child that he or she wants to do well and that dentist trips will be even easier if they regularly take care of their teeth. Additionally good dental care is as important to their health as a exercise is.
Thanks for sharing, Azalea Dental! Quite an useful guide to dealing with children. I've found pediatric dentistry to be the most difficult in terms of patient compliance. Will share your article in our social media profiles.
20 August 2014