A visit to the dentist is necessary for your child’s good dental health, but it can also be a scary time for the little one. There are a number of things that you can do to make the dental appointments more pleasant, so your young one can look forward to these regular visits without feeling scared.
Go to a Clinic Specialising in Children Dentistry
Your child will enjoy the benefits of an age-appropriate environment in a children’s dental clinic. The atmosphere of a clinic for adults can leave a negative impression on your child and cause dental fear.
Start the Dental Visits as Soon as Possible
The sooner your child becomes familiar with the dentist (and the dental clinic environment), the easier it will be for him or her to be more comfortable with these regular visits. You can start bringing your child to the dentist when the first tooth appears, or at the age of 1.
Avoid bombarding your child with too many details for each dental appointment, and instead try to keep explanations as simple as possible. Too much information may confuse your child, and can contribute to his or her fear.
Use Positive Words and Phrases
Avoid using the terms “pain”, “hurt”, or “shots” whenever possible. Using these terms can scare your child unnecessarily. Try to make the dental appointment a more pleasant one to look forward to by using more positive and fun-sounding words.
Prepare with Playtime
You can prepare your child for the dental visit by including a “pretend visit to the dentist” during playtime. Make this pretend dental appointment a fun one so your child will look forward to the actual appointment. You can also use books and other visual aids to further explain what the dental appointment is about, and how it can help him or her have a healthy smile.
Listen to the Dentist and the Staff
While it may be tempting to continuously fuss over your child during the appointment, it is best to listen to what the dentist and staff when it comes to dealing with a nervous child. These professionals are used to making children more at ease inside the dental clinic, and will guide you to giving your child a more positive experience.