Up to 8% of people are so afraid of the dentist they avoid regular dental checkups! Yet, good oral hygiene is important for good overall health.
Oral infections caused by cavities are dangerous. They can lead to potential problems with eating and even learning.
Going to the dentist is an important step in maintaining good health.
Does your child fear the dentist? Here are three ways to help rid your child of the fear of going to the dentist.
1. Begin Early
This can’t be stressed enough! Your child’s first dental visit should be before the age of one year. As soon as you notice signs of teething, make an appointment.
When children attend routine dental visits at a young age, they come to expect regular dental checkups. If your child’s first visit is because of a toothache, he’ll associate the dentist with pain.
Don’t let that happen!
Cleanse your child’s gums in a gentle manner every day using a wet washcloth. As soon as that first tooth comes in, brush with an infant toothbrush. Make a game out of pointing out your child’s mouth and teeth in the mirror.
2. Use a Pediatric Dentist
Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children. They strive to make children comfortable in the dental environment.
From the waiting room to the dentist’s chair, you’ll see a big difference between adult and pediatric dentists.
The more comfortable your child is, the more she’ll like going to the dentist. This is crucial in establishing lifetime good dental health habits.
3. Good Preparation
Schedule a first-time appointment to meet the dentist. At this appointment, the dentist won’t look in your child’s mouth, unless your child is amenable.
You’ll have a chance to ask questions. Your child will see the waiting room and meet the staff.
When it comes time for your child’s first appointment, the dentist will be a familiar person. Something familiar is much less scary!
Always have a positive attitude when talking about the dentist. Don’t tell stories about your own dental fears.
Be mindful of generalizations such as, “It’ll be fine!” If your child ends up needing a cavity treated, it may not feel fine to her. Next time, she may not trust you when it comes to a trip to the dentist.
Tell your child that the dentist will count her teeth and check her smile. Offer only a few details to avoid making your child anxious.
Going to the Dentist is Essential for Good Health
Going to the dentist is an important part of a good health plan. Don’t let your own dental fears keep you from taking your kids to the dentist.
Help your children establish good oral hygiene habits from an early age. Make sure your children understand that dental visits are non-negotiable.
Once dental visits are routine, your child will be comfortable when it’s time for a visit.
Is your child ready for her first dental visit? Make an appointment here.