Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be quite daunting. You may have anxieties around the experience. Will your child be afraid? What will happen if they don’t enjoy it?
A trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be a challenging experience and there are a few steps you can take to help make the process easier for both them and you.
Start At a Young Age
When you see that you child has their first tooth then this is the time you should be booking your first dental appointment. It might seem early but starting the process at its earliest age can allow your child to develop a relationship with the dentist which can be vital in helping them overcome any fears they may have in the future.
They will be able to familiarise themselves with the surrounding and feel more comfortable over time. As your child grows older, they will know what to expect from a routine check-up which should help make the process less intimidating and more normal, this kids dentist says. Take a look at this article from Raising Children for more information on teeth development and how you can help maintain healthy teeth at home.
Find The Right Dentist
It can be useful to find a dentist who specializes in treating both children and teens. Not only can they offer years of expertise, but they can also help put your mind at ease if you have any anxieties around the experience. You can find an incredible Brisbane based dentist with Pure Dentistry who can find you the right fit for your child’s dentistry needs. They can offer positive reinforcement and encouragement to your child to help them feel comfortable, and sometimes they may even give them a sticker to congratulate good behaviour. A positive experience will help overcome any worries that your child may have and encourage them to visit the dentist to maintain healthy teeth regularly.
Set An Example
If you have dental anxiety or fear going to the dentist, then the chances are you will pass this onto your child. To make them feel comfortable, it is recommended that you do your best to put your fears aside and let your children watch you in the dentist chair. If you remain calm and talk positively about your experience, your child is likely to be influenced by your attitude. If mum can do it, so can they.
Suppose you struggle to overcome your dental fears. In that case, there is plenty of helpful information available to you online, like this article, that helps you identify ways to overcome dental phobia. It can be difficult not to show your fear in front of your young ones but try to remember that you are doing this for their benefit, and you don’t want them to have to experience these same emotions.
Talk About the Dentist Regularly
You want your child to know that the dentist is regular and that there is nothing to be feared. So, it is essential to bring it up in conversation and create a positive attitude towards dentist appointments. Try to educate your children on why we must look after our teeth. Would you please give them the reason why they should take great care of their teeth and gums and encourage them to brush regularly?
When discussing dentist appointments, try not to mention them months in advance as this can often lead to your child’s imagination running wild, and they may build fear towards it. Instead, try to use more positive words when discussing the dentist and move away from words like pain.
Give Positive Reinforcement
If your child has a difficult experience with a regular dentist, try a pediatric dentist. It would help if you always tried to dwell on what went well instead of what went wrong. Praising them on what went well and how brave they were can help build warm feelings in your child, and over time, it will help them conquer their fears.
It can be an excellent idea to create an inexpensive sticker chart when it comes to dentist visits. You can stick a gold star on appointments that went well. This can help motivate your child to go to the dentist and sit through it without any issues. Check out reward charts for inspiration. You can even make the chart with your child as a fun DIY activity.
Raising children can be difficult at the best of times, but we mums wouldn’t have it any other way. The dentist is vitally essential for your children’s health, and for some families, it can be a huge hurdle to overcome. Putting your fears aside and focusing on positive reinforcement will help you make difficult dentist trips a thing of the past.