People need dental care throughout their lives, no matter how young or old they are. Ideally, children should start seeing the dentist by the time they turn one year old. Dental phobias are common, but they don't have to be a reality for your child. Here are a few things you can do to help your child get comfortable with dental treatment:
1. Talk about the dentist in positive ways.
Children learn everything from their parents. You're always teaching your child, even when you don't mean to. If you have an aversion to the dentist, you should do your best to avoid passing that same dislike on to your child. Never complain about dental visits to your child. You want your child to have nothing but positive experiences when it comes to oral care. When teaching very young children about the dentist for the first time, emphasize that the dentist is someone who is there to help them have healthy teeth.
2. Choose a pediatric dentist.
A pediatric dentist completes extra schooling which allows them to be more effective when treating children. Pediatric dentists are adept at putting children at ease. Their offices are often more child-friendly, featuring waiting rooms with toys that can occupy kids' attention until it's their turn to see the dentist. A pediatric dentist keeps up to date on all the latest technological advancements that can help them provide the best care for your child.
3. Take your child to do something fun after their dental appointment.
After your child sees the dentist, you should reward them by doing something they enjoy. Creating positive associations with dental appointments can go a long way toward making your child comfortable with dental care. The activity you choose doesn't need to be expensive or labor-intensive in order to be effective. You can simply get ice cream with your child, take them to the park, or play their favorite game with them. The most important thing is to make sure your child has a good time and gets the chance to relax after their dental cleaning.
4. Avoid surprises.
Some parents avoid letting their child know they have a dentist appointment ahead of time. Their reasoning is that their child will have less opportunity to be upset if they don't have time to worry about the experience. Unfortunately, this tactic can backfire. Avoid springing surprise dental appointments on your child. Allow them the chance to mentally prepare for their dentist appointment.
For more information, contact a pediatric dentist in your area.