Your child is probably like most children. They don’t have an irrational fear of the dentist. But, they do learn to be afraid of one over time because they pick up their fears from you. Here’s how to settle their apprehension and ease them into their first dental visit.
Prep Them With Good Dental Habits
Before you take your child to the dentist, try to instil good brushing and flossing habits. It’s important that these habits be ingrained at a young age. Now, if your child is really young, it may not be possible. But, you can work to keep your child’s teeth clean, floss them, and take care to not feed your child overly sugary foods or acidic foods which will damage the young child’s teeth.
Choosing The Right Dentist
You need to be able to choose the right dentist. The dentist makes all the difference. Ask friends for recommendations. Alternatively, do some research on kid-friendly dentists in your community. These dentists are very sensitive to the fact that some people, adults and kids alike, simple don’t like the dentist. And, they will bend over backwards to make sure your child is comfortable.
It’s also a good idea to establish a relationship with a particular dentist so that, as your child gets older, he or she trusts that dentist. A good Invisalign Teen in NYC dentist is can help your child when it comes time to get braces or tooth alignment. But, the child will be more apt to trust the dentist only if he’s been going to the same one for many years.
Talk To Your Kids
It might not be the easiest thing in the world to do, but talk to your kids. Get some books about visiting the dentist and use them to kick-start a conversation about cleaning and oral hygiene. Some of the best ones out there are Doctor DeSoto, by William Steig, and Just Going To The Dentist by Mercer Mayer.
Another way to talk to your kids is to play “dentist” by using various props like toothbrushes and flashlights, cups for rinsing, etc. and invite all their stuffed animals in for a checkup. Your child can be the dentist, or the assistant, and you can do a cleaning on all of the stuffed animals.
Then, you can have your child be the patient, and you can pretend to be the dentist and clean your child’s teeth.
Set An Example
When you’re afraid of the dentist, it’s more likely that your child will be too. Your child looks up to you. And, because of that, they will believe whatever fears you have. If it’s something that can make mommy or daddy afraid, then it must be scary.
Be strong, and set a good example. Go to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned. Show that it doesn’t hurt, and that it’s a good experience. Make sure your kids see you flossing and brushing as a normal part of the daily routine.
Yasmin Hancock works at a dentists clinic just round the corner from her home. She enjoys talking to the patients, catching up with them and trying to calm any fears they might have. In her free time she enjoys travel and writing, and often blogs for health blogs on the topic