For a child to develop healthy, strong teeth, dental care is a must. Most parents recognize this fact, and yet it can be exceedingly difficult to feel as though dental visits are being forced upon a young person. We understand. At Children 1st Dental & Surgery Center, catering to the inherent anxieties of pediatric patients is what we do best. It’s why we’re here.
Early dental care means more than good oral health and development; it also means that the child is provided with the early exposure that can lead to a lifetime of strong oral care habits that include home hygiene and routine dental care – without fear. If your child tends to heartily oppose visits to the dentist, you may feel a bit lost as to what to do.
Here are a few tips to turn the tide on your child’s dental experiences:
- Play the part. What child doesn’t like a little make-believe? Especially for younger children, the act of role playing is both fun and effective at making the unknown less frightening. To prepare for a dental visit, a mock exam and cleaning can be performed at home. This can include you and your child, or your child’s favorite stuffed animal or doll. During this “exam,” do what the dentist will do: count teeth, look for “ickies,” and clean teeth. Take turns with your child being the dentist and you being the dentist for a greater effect.
- Be clear and be positive. Two things that can send a child into a fit of frenzy about an impending dental visit are the surprise and negative terms. Give your child a head’s up about dental visits. This creates trust and also gives them the opportunity to feel their feelings about this experience. When you do tell your child about a dental visit, avoid words like “shot” or “medicine” or “poke.” If you need tips on how to inform your child about dental care, give us a call. We’re happy to help.
- Be a calm presence. Your child may not be ultra-calm about seeing the dentist. In fact, some children throw an all-out fit when they can no longer hide their anxiety. Parents need to know that our dental staff is accustomed to such outbursts, and there is no judgment, only understanding. A calm parent is a soothing presence for the fearful child, even if it does not seem so.
- Be an advocate. Finding a pediatric dentist is not a challenge. Finding a practice that caters to anxious children may not be quite as easy. Advocate for your child. Search for a practice that fits your needs on all levels, including the offering of sedation.
Children 1st offer compassionate pediatric dentistry across the Houston and Dallas – Fort Worth areas. Contact us to schedule care for your child.