A parent’s number one priority is the health and wellbeing of their child. It’s easy to remember to make regular doctor visits. But, you shouldn’t forget about taking your child to the dentist! The health of your child’s teeth can be an indicator of their overall health. The sooner you start seeing a pediatric dentist, the faster your child can get comfortable with the idea of a dentist.
Keep reading to learn more about visiting a pediatric dentist and how to make your child comfortable throughout the whole process.
Be Open With Your Child
The dentist can be scary to many adults, so you can imagine how nervous a child would be. The best thing you can do to help your child understand why pediatric dental care is important is to be open and honest with them.
Explaining why going to the dentist is important can show your child that the dentist is there to help them. Keep the discussion simple, and don’t overexplain. If you get too technical in your discussion, your child might get confused and become even more nervous.
Let them know that the dentist will be cleaning their teeth. Kid teeth cleaning is important to prevent future dental work. If they have a good experience with their primary care physician, mention that the dentist is a doctor for their teeth.
Many children’s shows will also have a positive episode about going to the dentist that your child could watch beforehand. If they know their favorite character loves the dentist, it can encourage them to love the dentist too.
If your child wants to bring a special toy that will make them more comfortable during the appointment, let them. It will help them be more relaxed during the appointment.
Show Them Where They’re Going
Many pediatric dentist offices will have photos of their office space available online. You can show these to your child so they become familiar with the environment before they go.
You can also call the dentist’s office and ask for a tour before the appointment. Showing your child around the office and meeting the professionals there beforehand can prevent anxiety from building up leading to the exam. They won’t be visiting strangers anymore, they’ll be visiting friendly people!
The Impact of Positivity
Many adults have their form of dental anxiety, but you don’t want your child to think you are also afraid of the dentist. When you talk about the dentist with them, keep your language positive. Refer to their dentist with positivity, like you’re talking about a good friend.
Never mention pain, discomfort, or bad experiences you’ve had with the dentist. Your child will assume that all dentists cause pain, which isn’t true. Almost every dental visit is a pain-free experience.
Your child will mimic your behavior. Show them that you are comfortable with the dentist and you’re excited to go there. If you’re excited, they’re excited.
Pick an Experienced Pediatric Dentist
Finding a pediatric dentist is a serious task. The more experienced the kid dentist, the more they will be able to help your child. Every child is unique, and their dental visit should be too.
Look into how long the dentist has been practicing. If the dentist you’re choosing has existed in the community for years, they’re a great option. Each dentist will have a biography you can read that walks you through their credentials.
It’s also important to verify that the dentist you go to has experience with children. Children receiving dental care need to be treated differently than adults. They can be biters, squirmy, or uncooperative. Working with a dentist who understands children can work around all these issues.
Looking at reviews and asking for referrals is another excellent way to verify that they can work well with children. The reviews on their website is a great way to start.
You can also call the office and ask for references. Or, consider asking a community webpage. Contacting people directly can lead to more honest answers.
The more experience and positive reviews a dentist has, the more they will be able to help your child throughout the process. It’s important to pick an experienced dentist and stick with them. This will build trust between the dentist and your child.
Be Open With Your Dentist
You want to be open with your dentist about any concerns or health conditions your child might have that could impact their dental visit. By letting your dentist know beforehand that your child is nervous or needs accommodations, the dentist can prepare.
Working with nervous children is nothing new for a dentist, and many of them have special procedures that can help your child be more comfortable. Flavored fluoride, fun flossing tools, and great books in the waiting room are all ways a dentist can help your child relax.
While talking about your concerns with the dentist, you can also ask to be in the room while your child has an appointment. They can prepare an extra seat for you ahead of time. This will allow you to hold your child’s hand and let them know that nothing bad is going to happen.
Encourage Good Hygiene
The easiest way to prevent pain and nerves around their annual dentist visit is by practicing good dental hygiene with your child year-round. Make your daily brushing routines a fun activity that you do together.
There are a lot of fun toothbrushes, floss sticks, and mouthwashes available. Find some with your child’s favorite characters on them to encourage usage.
You and your child both need to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Make a game out of it and see who can brush the longest!
After the appointment, your dentist will walk you through what your dental care routine should look like to promote good dental hygiene early on. They’ll explain how to handle teething, thumb sucking, and nutrition. Following your dentist’s recommendations can help prevent more intense dental care down the road.
Make a Pediatric Dentist Appointment in Spanish Fork Today
Going to a pediatric dentist can be overwhelming for a child, but with these tips, you can make the process fun and engaging!
When your child is ready for their first dental cleaning, contact The Kid Dentist! We have been proudly meeting pediatric dental needs for years, and we want to show your child how great the dentist can be.
Schedule an appointment with us today to keep your child’s teeth sparkling.