Some kids love going to the dentist. They actually enjoy having their teeth cleaned and the attention they receive. They’re also excited to receive a new toothbrush and select a toy after their visit with the dentist. However, other children are so scared by what they have seen or heard from others that it is difficult to coax them into the dental office.
To help your child avoid dental anxiety, there are a few things you can do to help. First, take your child to the dentist at an early age. Typically, we recommend scheduling your child’s first dental appointment about six months after his or her first tooth comes in. This could be a happy visit or more like “show and tell,” so the child understands that the chair goes up and down and that there’s a spray hose and a “Mr. Thirsty” to wash the teeth. (We usually demonstrate this on the child’s hand or on our own hands at first.) This preparatory type of visit will give your child time to adjust to the sights and sounds of a dental office and will make it much less scary when it’s time to let us look inside that little mouth and count those teeth.
It’s also important to avoid speaking negatively about the dentist or bad dental experiences, although sometimes kids will hear this from friends who have heard it from their family members. Teach your children how important their teeth are and explain that the dentist is going to help them keep their teeth clean, happy and healthy.
Are you anxious about going to the dentist? Your child may be able to tell something is wrong if you’re tense; if you stay relaxed while at the dentist’s office, your child will probably be more relaxed as well.
Lastly, remember to communicate with your dentist. Make him aware of any fears or concerns your child may have. We want to provide support for you and your child and help ensure good dental experiences.
Would you like to learn more about our happy visits and how we help your child deal with dental anxiety? We are always here and happy to help with any questions or concerns pertaining to your oral care. Our team will do everything possible to answer your questions and keep your little one comfortable. Please call our office today at 360-876-0445 to set up an appointment.