Going to the dentist can be an uneasy experience for anyone, especially children. Anxiety can creep up at anytime – even if a child has had a positive experience with the dentist in the past. From a child’s perspective, a dentist’s office can be uneasy place because of he scary-looking tools, unfamiliar noises, and people walking around with masks.
Try to make dental visits enjoyable for your child. Whether it’s your child’s first dentist appointment or a twice-yearly checkup, it’s important to ease your child’s fear and anxiety. Here are some tips to help you and your child through their next appointment.
There’s a chance that you were just as afraid of the dentist when you were your child’s age (or maybe you still are). You can help sooth your child’s anxiety by sharing your own positive experiences. Assure your child that even though you felt hesitant or scared at times, you made it through just fine. Keep the stories simple and spare some of the details in order to focus on the positive experience rather than the technicality of specific treatments.
Read books about the dentist together
Every child loves story time whether it’s before bed, in the car, or at the park. Parents have the opportunity to use story time with their child to talk about going to the dentist. There are a variety of children’s books written specifically for the little ones who are unsure about their first or ongoing experience at the dentist. This is a great activity for parents and kids to put into practice at an early age rather than waiting until the night before the child’s first dental appointment. Search online or go to your local library to find the best books for you and your child, and get reading!
Set the right expectations
Before your child steps into the dentist office, they should have a basic understanding of what to expect. Give kids a balanced explanation without necessarily going into specific details of each tool and procedure. Your child should know the typical order of events that will take place during his or her visit. By phrasing things in a way that children can relate to, your child will not only learn about the dentist, but will also have a clear understanding of the experience to come.
Give positive reinforcement
Pediatric dentists and family dentists sometimes offer a little gift to their patients at the end of their dental visit. This can range from a toothbrush, a fun toy, or a sticker. Though having knowledge of some sort of reward helps kids get through their dentist visit, it is important not to use this as bribery. Instead, reward your child with praise, a high-five, or a knuckle-bump for doing so well. Remind them that healthy teeth and regular dental visits are the key to a great smile.
The professionals at George Dental Group understand the dental needs of children and know exactly how to make a child’s dental visit fun and positive. Schedule your child’s next dental appointment with George Dental Group today.