Are you about to take your kid for its first dental visit? Dental check-ups are of great importance for oral health in children, thus requiring parents to transform these visits into a habit from a young age.
Nevertheless, dental appointments are known to be rather intimidating for youngsters, being frightened by the sound of the drilling machine and the look of the dental tools.
Therefore, parents are advised to select a reputable pediatric dentist whose office is welcoming for kids. This professional should be calm, funny, and proficient in using kid-friendly techniques.
The following tips will help you make your child feel comfortable during such visits.
Make the visits seem exciting
Although most parents suffer from dental anxiety, it’s paramount for their fear not to be transferred to the kids. Regardless of how much you detest dental visits, your child is never supposed to know about it. Instead, you’re expected to act excited whenever you mention the dentist, describing him/her as a superhero whose job is to keep its teeth strong and healthy.
Additionally, parents aren’t supposed to portray dentists as the bad guys, as it’ll only further contribute to their fear. Make sure your lovely kid understands that good oral habits and regular dental visits are necessary for their teeth to last forever. Visit this page to learn some useful tips about making oral health more fun for your children.
Start from a young age
Parents aren’t recommended to wait too long to take their kids to their first appointment but schedule a visit once their children become toddlers. The earlier your kid sits in the dentist’s chair the lower the chances of developing dental anxiety.
Moreover, pediatric dentists provide parents with excellent advice on introducing good oral habits. Massaging gums is recommended for babies to get accustomed to having their mouths touched, while infant toothbrushes are the perfect alternative for toddlers to start adopting teeth brushing habits. Perhaps the best time to schedule the first appointment is shortly after the first tooth of your baby appears.
Choose the best pediatric dentist
Some parents prefer taking their children to a general dentist, usually the one they go to, which isn’t exactly a wise decision. Although these professionals are allowed to work with kids, pediatric dentists are considered to be a better choice. Apart from finishing dental school, pediatric dentists have invested additional time and effort in special training.
Furthermore, these professionals are educated not only in the field of dental treatments but in child psychology as well. In order for kids to feel comfortable during dental visits, a child friendly dentist is supposed to employ the right demonstration techniques to describe the procedure before getting down to it. As a result, your child will become familiar with the tools and the supplies that will be used in the process, thus reducing its fear of the unknown.
Additionally, pediatric offices are particularly designed for children, looking nothing like the minimalistic offices of general dentists. Pediatric facilities are full of stuffed animals, toys, books, and other interesting objects that would make kids’ dental visits more enjoyable. It’s paramount for children to feel comfortable from the minute they enter the facility and a mountain of toys can make it happen.
Ultimately, parents are advised to take a tour of the office prior to scheduling the first appointment. These tours help children to meet the dentist, play with the toys, get used to the sound of the drilling tools, and walk around the entire office. Consequently, your kid won’t be scared upon visiting the facility the second time.
Use books and other visual aids
In order for your child to feel excited about its first dental appointment, make sure you purchase some informative books in vivid colors, explaining the role of the dentist. Such books are excellent for stimulating kids’ imagination and allowing the idea of visiting a new kind of doctor to enter their minds.
An even better idea would be playing some educative videos or cartoons, with their favorite characters going to have their teeth checked. Since the characters in cartoons always look delighted when going for a dental check-up, your child is likely to feel excited about the idea as well.
Moreover, you can even pretend to have treatment at home by taking the role of the dentist and imitating its actions while your child seats in a chair. The following link, https://www.care.com/c/stories/3845/dentist-games-for-kids/, includes some interesting dental games to play with your children.
Be prepared for negative reactions
In spite of the above-mentioned preparations, parents should be prepared for some fussing during the first appointment. Even if your kid bursts in tears when sitting in the dentist’s chair, it’s important to remain calm and not act harshly. Punishments would only cause greater fear and reluctance towards having their teeth checked.
Bear in mind that pediatric dentists are trained in working with children and know the perfect ways to handle their tantrums. Therefore, make sure you listen to the suggestions of the professional, having no objections to its way of handling the situation. If he/ she asks you to leave the office during the treatment, do it without any problem.
The only way for your child to enjoy its first dental visit is to have a calm, supportive parent hold its hand and an excellent professional to perform the treatment!