As many as 15% of American adults avoid going to the dentist unless forced to go in an emergency situation. Many of those individuals report that they can trace their dental fear or anxiety to a bad experience in childhood.
Choosing a dentist who understands how to work with children is very important for the child’s oral health – and preserving their fabulous smile – during their lifetime. It’s equally important to prepare the child for their visits to the dentist. Some children need to visit their dentist as many as ten times before starting kindergarten.
Schedule the First Visit at Age One
The dentist will examine the first teeth for any potential problems and answer any questions about toothbrushing, diet or other concerns. The child will begin to become familiar with the environment.
Words to Avoid
Try to avoid words like “Pain,” “Hurt” or “Shot.” A very small child can be told that the dentist will be counting their teeth and looking at their pretty smile.
Have a Pretend Dentist Visit at Home
Take turns being dentist and patient using a toothbrush and a mirror to check teeth. Don’t make drill noises or frighten the child with pretend instruments. The child can also use an old toothbrush to “play dentist” with a doll.
Don’t Schedule the Child’s Visit if the Parent is Being Treated
This can frighten the child unnecessarily, especially if the parent (or another child) is anxious about having work done.
Expect Some Crying or Whining
Most children do not want to be examined by a stranger, so take your cues from the dentist and staff. They are used to dealing with children and have seen their share of tantrums. The dentist may ask the parent to hold the child’s hand or stand back, depending on the situation.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene at Home
When a child grows up practicing good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly, the child has taken a giant step toward preserving their teeth and their smile for the rest of his or her life.
Carrier Dentistry can be trusted to take care of the dental needs of the entire family. They are committed to providing high quality care in a comforting and welcoming environment for all patients in their Dentist office in Grand Prairie TX, particularly children. To learn more, visit Carrierdentistrytx.com.