*This is a guest post*
A trip with your kids to the dentist may not always be pleasant. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, around 42% of children have a certain degree of dental phobia. Though the reason for taking them to the dentist is to improve their oral hygiene habits, in the eyes of a child, a visit to the dentist’s chair is one scary event. Dental clinics like Chaplin Dental understand that for these kids, lying on a dental chair in a room filled with foreign objects and loud noises can be overwhelming.
On top of that, they’ll have to deal with a stranger poking his cold, unusual tools in their mouths. All these are apart from the pain that kids have to endure because of a tooth problem. To make matters even scarier, the dreaded dental visit won’t end after one visit. As their teeth continue to grow and fall out, they might need to visit the dentist 10 to 12 times before they reach kindergarten. To help your kids deal with their fear, you can consider the following tips:
Start them young
By this, we mean you need to start introducing your kids to their dentist at an early age. The principle the earlier, the better applies perfectly in this situation. Through this, you’re providing your child with his very own dental home where all his needs are taken care of. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the best age to start bringing the kids to the dentist is at one year old or after their first tooth becomes visible.
Avoid giving too many details
As you prepare to go on a dental visit, especially for the first time, avoid giving too many details. Don’t try to explain or appease them that everything will be okay. This will just lead to more questions. More information and cautious treatment might leave your child unnecessarily anxious.
As you discuss your upcoming visit, remain positive but avoid giving your child false hope. Never tell him that everything will be alright, because the moment the dentist requires him to undergo treatment, he’ll end up losing his trust in you and the dentist. The best approach is to act as if it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Before your child’s very first appointment with the dentist, it would help if you try practicing the possible scenario at the clinic. You act as the dentist, and your child will be the patient. You’ll only need a toothbrush for this play pretend session. You can start by counting your child’s teeth. Stay away from lining up dental tools or emulating drilling noises. If you’d like, you can hold a mirror up and show your child how the dentist will look and check his teeth. Then encourage him to show you how he’ll use the toothbrush to clean a doll or stuffed animal’s teeth. The main goal of the activity is to make your child familiar with the scenes and routines in the clinic.
Never attempt to relate
Some parents believe that taking their kids with them as they visit their own dentist is a good thing. Experts, however, said that this is a huge mistake. Without even realising it, parents themselves can be anxious about their own dental visit. Their children can easily sense these fears. Plus, adult dental clinics are not as friendly and warm-looking as a children’s clinic. Your kids might end up getting more scared if their experience with your dentist is not as pleasant. Aside from that, telling them stories about how your tooth was extracted, or how painful your root canal procedure was, can also trigger anxiety.
Early childhood dental visits are crucial in developing your kids’ oral hygiene habits. These simple tips can help you manage your kids’ fears in meeting with the dentist for the first time. The moment that they realise that dentists are here to help and not to hurt, their next visits will turn out to be more pleasant and enjoyable.
Thank you for reading.
*Disclaimer – This is a sponsored article*