It is usual for children to get scared of the dentist – this is a challenge that most parents can attest to. Regardless, it would be best if you found ways to make this stressful trip to protect your kid from adverse effects on their oral health, both short-term and long-term.
In the short-term, your child will miss the important check-ups required to keep their teeth healthy. Over an extended period, they might be creating the ideal conditions for persistent oral health issues, and in worst-case scenarios, it might cause tooth loss. This underlines the importance of teaching your youngsters to overcome the fear of dentists.
The following are some tips on how to prepare kids for dentist appointments.
Start At an Early Age
The best way to prepare your kid for dental appointments is by starting them while they are still young. The earlier they start going for check-ups, the more comfortable they get.
If you take this approach, dental visits will become a routine, like the way most kids are used to go for pediatric appointments. The recommended age for going to the dentist is six months or when your infant develops their first tooth.
Keep it Simple
When preparing for a first-time dental appointment, try not to be detailed. Talking too much might bring many questions, and this often makes children anxious.
Use a positive tone when talking to your kid about visiting the dentist. More importantly, avoid giving them false hope. Don’t issue assurances that everything will be fine because they will lose trust in you and the doctor if something goes wrong.
Stay Calm During the Appointment
Another way of making your kid less fearful is by staying calm when you visit a dental clinic. If you express alarm when the kid gets fussy, you make them more anxious. Instead, be as calm as possible and let the dentist do their job. These doctors have the training needed to keep children at ease if they get nervous after visiting the dentist.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
Giving your kids something to look forward to before a dental visit can encourage them to behave positively during the appointment. Ensure that the reward doesn’t hurt their oral health, such as sweets and sugary foods. Instead, give them rewards such as going to their favourite playground, visiting the zoo, or going to the movie.
Tell Them About The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Visiting the dentist is mandatory for maintaining oral health. Ensure that your kids know about this, as this is useful in keeping their teeth healthy and prevents conditions like cavities, periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Take Kids to a Pediatric Dentist
Dentists who focus on children services are more likely to make them feel less nervous during check-ups and treatment. They do this by providing them with toys, offering prizes for good behaviour and maintaining a positive attitude to keep your kid at ease throughout the service. This practices cater to the emotional needs of your kids and ensure that the operation goes on without hitches.
Dental health is essential to overall physical well-being. When your teeth experience complications, you are likely to suffer from low self-esteem and feel pain. If untreated for long, poor oral health might cause tooth loss.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your kids the importance of regular dental appointments. Although it can be challenging for the youngsters to overcome the fear of dentists, the tips mentioned above are an excellent starting point. Remember that starting early familiarizes them with the doctors and helps prevent severe complications like cavities, bleeding gums, gingivitis, etc.