Going to the dentist can be a daunting experience for young children, especially if it’s their first visit or if they’ve had a bad experience with it in the past. We try to make your child as calm and comfortable as possible while in the waiting room and the dentist’s chair, but there are ways you can help them feel calmer about their check-up, too.
Firstly, a couple of things you can do before your child’s visit to the dentist…
Prepare them for the visit
You should tell your child in advance that you’ll be visiting the dentist and what to expect from it, in vague and friendly terms. Tell them that the dentist will be looking at their teeth to check that they’re clean and healthy, for example. You can even role play the situation with them to demonstrate that it’s not threatening. Here are some more tips for preparing your child for a dental visit.
Talk to your dentist
If you know that your child is afraid of visiting the dentist or that they can be uneasy around strangers, then it’s a good idea to tell your dentist beforehand so that they’re aware of what to expect. Your dentist can then pay extra attention to making your child happy and comfortable during their check-up.
And then during their dental check-up…
Bring their favorite toy along
If your child has a favorite toy or a comfort blanket, then bring this with you. They can play with it in the waiting room to make them feel happy and comfortable. They may not be able to keep it in the dentist’s chair, but ask your dentist to make sure. If not, you can keep it on hand to distract them with and to comfort them afterward.
Kids tend to pick up on their parents’ anxieties, so staying calm and happy throughout the visit will help to soothe your child’s worries. Talk to them in soothing tones throughout the visit and let the dentist do their job. Your dentist will probably talk to them, too, to distract them and make them feel comfortable.
Finally, after the appointment, you can reinforce the behavior of going to the dentist by praising your child and maybe treating them to a new toy, their favorite food, or a fun day out. This will help them to associate positive things with visiting the dentist, hopefully making the process a little easier next time.
We have lots of experience with young patients, and we use pain-free dentistry to make them as comfortable as possible during their check-up. Book an appointment with Barabe Dental today if you’re in the area of Clemmons, Lewisville, Mocksville, Winston Salem, Advance, or Bermuda Run.