From the cold unusual objects to unfamiliar surroundings, children and adults alike share fears of the dentist. No matter the fears, visits to the dentist will keep teeth healthy and promote good oral health habits. Here are a few tips to keeping the fears at bay and their smile pearly white.
The Earlier the Better
The younger a child is when they start visiting a dentist, the more likely they will become comfortable with the surroundings and the dentist. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first trip to the dentist should be at age one or when their first tooth is visible. Early prevention will increase the overall health of your mouth.
According to several studies, more preschool students have cavities than ever before. The national study states that, “more than 1 in 4 children in the United states has had at least one cavity by the age of 4. Many kids get cavities as early as age 2.”
Don’t Over Share
Try not to share too many details before dental appointments. Too much explaining can result in more questions as well is scare many children. Keep a positive attitude and let the dentist and hygienists explain the procedures. Also, refrain from taking your children to your dentist appointment. Even though you may not realize it, you may be anxious. Telling about past or current procedures can instill more fear, especially if those procedures are not necessary.
Grab a toothbrush and let your child practice being both the dentist and the patient. Brushing and counting teeth will help to prepare them for the actual office visit. You want your child to become familiar with the routine in hopes that they will be more comfortable with the procedures. Additionally, there are a variety of children’s books with illustrations that are design to educate and relieve fears of the dentist.
Fussing is Normal
Pediatric dentists are used to children and tantrums. It is normal that a child will cry, whine or fuss during an appointment. Allow the staff to guide and direct you. Many will ask that you hold your child’s hand to help comfort them during the visit. If your little one has a favorite toy or stuffed animal, bring that as a comfort and distraction.
Encouraging the importance of good dental health is important. Explain that the dentist helps to keep their smile pretty, and that regular visits are necessary. Follow these tips are your child is sure to overcome their fears.
Our Ooltewah pediatric denistry office can help calm your child's fears of the dentist as well as keep their teeth pearly white.Written by Tiffany Hutton