It’s essential to book an appointment with a pediatric dentist when you are taking your child to the dentist for the first time. Doing so will ensure that the child has a positive experience.
Children will naturally be afraid of the unknown. That’s why it’s so vital that you look for useful information about this topic and team up with your dentist to create the best experience for your child.
We share with you 5 tips to help children overcome the fear of the dentist. Applying them can be quite useful to prepare your child for his or her first dental visit and also to improve his or her experience if he or she resists going back to a dental office.
Usually, your child may feel intimidated when faced with a new experience. Going to the dentist for the first time doesn’t have to be stressful; it’s up to you to educate your child and prepare him emotionally for a pleasant experience.
You need to talk to your child about the topic. The sooner the issue is addressed, the more prepared they will be for the first contact with a dental office. According to the ADA, a child should go to his or her first routine checkup when the child is 1 year old. That is when they start getting their teeth.
Just don’t give then too much detail, and we must care for our vocabulary so as not to scare them.
To start, you can teach your child what a toothbrush is and what it’s for, explain to him all people need to use toothpaste to keep a beautiful smile, give him examples of what a correct brushing is, let them practice with on a doll.
In the opinion of Silverstein and Vinci:
“Children are still learning about life; they have no idea what a dentist is, what they do, and how they matter concerning them. You have to introduce them to the topic of a dentist.
Our responsibility is not to pass our fears on them. Instead, talk about how nice it’s to clean our teeth. All the kids are incredibly receptive; they are still discovering the world around, record with the senses what is happening every moment, catalogs experiences as pleasant or unpleasant, for this reason, you must take by his hand and avoid frightening ideas about the dentist.
One point most pediatric dentists agree on is the use of play and imagination as a teaching resource. Also, imitation is a common form of learning for all children. In short, they learn from everything their parents do or say.
Imagining that you or your child is a dentist is a great idea to familiarize your child with everything related to dental care. They can use a mirror, toothbrush, floss, and rinse to make the experience more real. The important thing is for your child to learn from this game.
An ADC blog post details this fun learning strategy, mention some tips to incorporate into the game such as counting your child’s teeth, explaining what X-rays are, what polishing is, among other suggestions:
Check your child’s teeth, talk about X-rays, and pretend to look inside your child’s mouth and count teeth. Talk to your child about how the tooth polisher brushes teeth up nice and clean, and sometimes it even tickles a little bit.
This post also suggested buying books on dental care specially designed for children. Educational works with characters like Spongebob and Dora The Explorer. It will help your child not feel afraid, do not associate the dentist with something negative. The cartoons they love will make you confident and confident to experience what it is like to go to the dentist for the first time.
But the son can also be a dentist and his daddy a patient. You can buy special children’s doctor’s gown and let your child imagine that he is a dentist. He will now be the one providing dental care to you.
Luckily the children’s imagination is fantastic! I’m sure he’ll tell you that you shouldn’t eat so many sweets if you wish a smile as bright as the stars.
If you need individual guidance, you can ask for our team through Facebook or Instagram. We enjoy to dispelling your fears and improve your smile.
Some words can be especially problematic before a first dental consultation. Avoid using words that involve discomfort when you’re near to your kid; they are predisposed to feel scared. As a result, kids want to go to the first routine check of their lives.
If you want your child to stay calm, you have to avoid words like ‘pain’ ‘hurt,’ ‘blood’ and some similar, according to Silverstein and Vinciguerra:
Only frame the experience as positive. Don’t mention words that may scare your children away, such as; scrape, drilling tools, hurt, blood, pain, and other terms that can seem to come straight out of a scary movie. Those aren’t going to get your kids to go to the dentist by any stretch of the imagination.
The most important thing is for your child to relate the dentist to their well-being. In fact, according to a study conducted by Maha AlSarheed, in which a questionnaire was applied to 583 children, revealed that the majority of children in that country –Saudi Arabia – consider going to the dentist is not a negative or unpleasant thing.
About 64% said they like to go to the dentist, 11% said they do not like it, and 12% experience fear. It should also be clarified that the age of these children ranges from 9-12 years of age; that is, 70% of these children had already gone to the dentist before.
In general, what makes children more afraid are procedures such as tooth extraction and local anesthesia, procedures that they would not necessarily need because of their young age and the health they surely have.
However, a child feels quite anxious or requires some kind of anesthesia; we can use very light sedation measures to help him relax and so that the dentist can work quietly. Oral medication may be a good idea to reduce your child’s stress.
Don’t forget that an effective strategy is to bring your child as a spectator when you have a dental appointment. You can show him with your pleasant attitude and smile that you are having a good time while your dentist treats you.
However, talking so profoundly about dental procedures, for example, isn’t convenient because this only generates stress, and often, your child will not need advanced treatments. But even if he or she needs one, you must be careful and not scare them by giving them too many details:
When preparing for a visit, especially the first time, try not to include too many details. Doing so will raise more questions, and adding more information about an additional treatment like a filling he might need may cause unnecessary anxiety.
Share information with your child gradually. You and your kid step by step. You’ll see how this is useful.
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Call us at (844) 848 7878 if you need some information about our procedures and prices. Also, we want to recommend a pediatric dentist or give you additional info that you need.
A simple attitude as keep close to your child helps to relax him. Parents usually come in with their children for their dental checkups.
Many times dental offices have a fun decoration to create a pleasant atmosphere, and children feel comfortable. Ask your dentist if your child can bring any of your favorite toys or play special music for your child.
Remember that the noises made by dental tools and the shape of objects can scare your child.
Parents take their children to a dentist’s appointment, but experts say this is a mistake. Parents themselves might feel anxious about the visit without even realizing it, and their child might sense those fears.
Dina Roth also comments that taking your child to the dental office that you go to, produces a wrong impression on the little ones because the offices for adults are usually sterile, that is, without colors and joy. The best thing, according to Roth, is for our children to get dental treatment in a kid-friendly dental office.
Ask the dental assistant if your child can bring his or her favorite stuffed animal or blanket to soothe him or her while sitting in the chair. Talk to your child and make jokes before the visit starts to make your child feel happy and comfortable.
Most pediatric dentists hand out stickers or small toys after a visit. Tell your child about the cool toy they will get once they get their teeth cleaned and have sat nicely in the dental chair.
It’s best to focus on how you behave before, during, and after your first visit to the dentist. Know your child’s emotions. Take note of your reactions to objects and noises in the dental office. Ask her what she’s afraid of beforehand. Help him overcome them. Praise when you do something right. And of course, praise your good attitude during your first visit to the dentist.
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