For many of us adults, the mere thought of a visit to the dentist is enough to fill us with fear, dread, and apprehension. You can imagine how much more heightened a child’s fear can be. However, caring for kids teeth cannot be a choice; it is a necessity.
Listed below are some things you can do to make your child’s dental visit less stressful and more enjoyable:
Where is the fear coming from?
The unfamiliar atmosphere, the feel of the metallic dental tools in their mouth, and the high-pitched noises of the suction and turbines can be scary. A previous traumatic experience with a dentist may also affect future visits.
Stories about a dentist visit told exaggeratedly by a sibling or friend can make children fearful of something as simple as a routine dental checkup. The prospect of being unable to breathe during the procedure, feeling pain, and being powerless to move once on the chair can cause anxiety in older children.
Top tips for managing dental fear and dental anxiety in kids
Do not wait for a problem to arise. A dental checkup as early as six months of age is ideal because issues are rare. Your child becomes accustomed to having their gums and mouth examined by a stranger (the children’s dentist), and the visit is painless.
Allow your child to accompany you to your dental checkup or dental cleaning. Let your child observes you remaining calm and composed in the face of the instruments being placed in your mouth and the noises they make. They may conclude that those noises and devices will not harm them.
Regular checkups starting when your baby is less than a year old gets them used to visiting a children’s dentist to have their mouth examined and the instruments within a dental office.
Children do better with people they are familiar with and trust. So, Stick with the same children’s dentist as far as possible. Pediatric dentists know how to make a dental visit fun, painless, and stress-free for infants and children. Plus, they specialize in children’s dental problems and can keep an on your child’s teeth right from the start.
Don’t be afraid to answer your child’s questions about an upcoming visit. Keep it informative but not frightening. Suppose they ask what dental cleaning is like. In that case, you can tell them about your experience – how you were probably apprehensive at first but now appreciate that your teeth are clean/healthy.
Managing oral hygiene at home
Caring for kids teeth from a young age means their dental visits will be less stressful. Encourage good dental habits from an early age, so they will find it easier to maintain good oral hygiene as they grow older. Begin teaching your child to brush their teeth at a young age.
Older children should be encouraged to floss regularly—show which foods are good for your teeth and which aren’t. Finally, set a good example. If your children see you brushing your teeth twice daily and avoiding sugary drinks, sodas, juices, and starchy foods, they will do the same.
Make your child’s dental visits pleasant. Caring for kids teeth from an early age and regular checkups with a children’s dentist can go a long way toward reducing a child’s fear of a dental visit. When explaining what to expect from a dental visit to your child, keep it positive and focus on the post-visit benefits, such as healthier gums and teeth, sparkling teeth after a dental cleaning, and so on.