How Can I Make My Child More Comfortable For Their Dental Visit?
A child's first dental visits can be stressful for children and parents alike. There are a few ways that you can prepare your child for what's to come so that the visit goes more smoothly.
Let them Know What to Expect
The first thing you can do to help your child prepare is to let them know what to expect before they arrive at the office. There are several ways to do this depending on what your child likes best. Your dentist might be able to recommend some good picture books that show what it's like inside the dental office and give stories about other children who went on dental visits. There's also the option of playing "dentist" and mimicking what the dental appointment might be like.
Help them Ask Questions
Your child might have some questions about their dental visit, and so you can help them express their fears and curiosities. If they are having trouble saying what's on their mind, you can prompt them by asking questions like, "how do you feel about getting your teeth cleaned?" or "what do you think sitting in the dentist's chair will be like?"
Some facilities will let you visit beforehand so that your child gets more comfortable in the office. You can guide your child back to show them the teeth brushing stations, what it looks like when patients are in the dental chair, and you can even introduce your child to the dentist. It helps to choose a dental office that is kid friendly. A pediatric dentist from a clinic like Round Lake Dental Clinic may have more pleasing decor and even toys in the waiting room, and the dentist will have more specialized experience and training in dealing with young patients.
Share Fears with Your Dentist
Many family dentists are used to children being a little nervous before they get into the dental chair. It helps to share what your child is most concerned about with your dentist so that they can be prepared. If your child is afraid of a particular tool or procedure, for instance, your dentist can be sure to proceed with more care during that part of the visit.
Give them Something to Look Forward to
And finally, it helps if your child knows that something good is on its way after the dental visit. You might agree to go to the child's favorite restaurant or do a fun activity. You could make it conditional on them being cooperative with the dentist and having a great attitude.