Dental appointments can seem scary to children, especially during first-time visits. Thankfully, there are ways parents can help their little ones manage their dentist-related nerves and fears. If your child has dental anxiety, try incorporating these three tips into their next trip to the dentist.
- Choose a Pediatric Dentist
Adults have different oral health needs than children. Take your child to a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry.
Pediatric dentists use equipment designed specifically for children, like petite handheld instruments and child-sized dental chairs. To further put their patients at ease, most pediatric dentists outfit their offices with play areas, fun decorations, and comforting toys.
Additionally, pediatric dentists often opt to perform less invasive procedures on children. For example, pediatric dentists might use quiet, gentle dental lasers Los Angeles CA instead of noisy, painful, and fear-inducing dental drills.
- Prepare Your Child Beforehand
In the days leading up to the scheduled appointment, prepare your child for their visit to the dentist. Using positive vocabulary, explain the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “why” of the appointment to your child. For example: “We will be making a special trip to visit a nice dentist on Friday to make sure that your teeth are healthy and strong!” You can use dental-themed children’s books and or kid-friendly videos to help answer questions your child might have about the upcoming appointment.
- Communicate With Your Dentist
If you know your child is nervous about their impending appointment, you should communicate this with your chosen pediatric dentist. If your child has special needs, you should notify the dental office so the staff can prepare accommodations. Many pediatric dentists offer meet-and-greets and tours of their facilities to first-time patients; if this is an option at your dental office, you should take it.
Going to the dentist can be an intimidating prospect for fully grown adults, let alone young children. Make your child’s next dental appointment a positive experience. Choose the right dentist, prepare your child in advance, and communicate with your dentist beforehand.