Dental Anxiety Is Common For Children And Adults
Helping Your Child Look Forward To The Dentist
- Start early. Ideally, the first dental visit should happen around when the first tooth erupts. If you make dental visits routine early on, your child will be able to build a trusting relationship with the dentist and grow up with a good perspective on dental care that can last a lifetime.
- Play pretend! For younger children, the best way to explain something complicated or new can often be role play. You can play the part of the dentist and give them an idea of what to expect and why it can be fun rather than scary.
- Explain. Your child will be much happier if they know what’s going to happen ahead of time. If your child is old enough, explain a little about what their visit will be like.
- Meet the dentist. One of the main sources of stress for your child is that the dentist is someone unfamiliar, and you can fix that by doing a meet-and-greet ahead of time.
- Choose a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have extra training beyond general dentists that gives them expertise on working with children. Their offices are also more kid-friendly, with fun waiting room activities and accommodations to make the visit as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
- Be there for them. All the information won’t make up for the comforting presence of an adult your child knows and loves, so be there for them as much as they need you during their first few visits.
- Teach them about dental hygiene. Understanding the value of good oral hygiene and being proud of their healthy smiles will help your child understand why going to the dentist is important.