Taking your child to the dentist can be scary for them, even if it is not their first visit. Being so close to strangers can be very unnerving, even for adults. There are things that you can do that will relieve your children of their fears of going to the dentist.
Choose A Pediatric Dentist
A dentist that is geared toward treating children can be just the right thing for scared kids. Just like pediatric doctors, these doctors know how to interact with children and ease their fears. Their offices are decorated in a manner that is pleasing to children, and everyone who works in these offices are accommodating to the children. Explaining to your child that the dentist you chose is just for kids gives children a little more “control” over the situation and helps ease their fears.
Additional things that parents can do to help their children feel more calm at the dentist include:
• Stay near them. If you can, hold their hand while they are in the dental chair. Sit in the room and let them know that you will be there through the entire exam. Having their parent with them during the exam may be all the child needs to feel better.
• Do not over-talk in exam room. It is natural for parents to want to talk to keep their child calm. They will explain everything that is going on what they think the dentist is doing or going to do. While it is true that the sound of a parents voice is calming, by allowing the dentist to talk while you are in the room your child will build confidence and trust in the dentist
• Remain calm. Children can sense your fear. If you have your own personal fears about the dentist, try to keep them hidden. Your child will pick up on these fears and make them their own because you feel that way about the dentist.
Sedation Dentistry For Children
There are times that the use of sedation may be an option for children. While most dentists try to avoid this method, some children have a very strong anxiety at the dentist and sedation may be necessary. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is commonly used to calm the children and it does not make them go unconscious. However, for major dental work such as an extraction, many pediatric dentists recommend using anesthesia to help the child go through the procedure more easily.
Remember To Start Early
By starting your children on a regular dental exam routine when they are young can relieve a lot of the anxiety associated with going to the dentist. Younger children are more curious about the dentist than afraid, and as they grow, they will feel confident each time they go for a checkup.
It is also important to start your children on a good routine for cleaning their teeth as soon as they are able to hold the brush. Good cleaning habits will not only help them have heathier teeth, it will also give them something to talk about with the dentist. Everyone likes to hear praise, and children who hear that they are doing a good job with their teeth from the dentist are more likely to return for exams without anxiety