It’s not uncommon to be afraid of visiting the dentist. People who are scared of the dentist often had a bad experience when they were young, and this has stayed with them psychologically throughout their life. Seeing the dentist on a regular basis is important at all stages of life, but fear and anxiety can get in the way of this.
Your child’s early experiences with the dentist and how you handle these experiences can really shape the way they feel about the dentist later in life. So, here are some tips on preparing your kids for their dentist visit and how to make it a pleasant experience.
When to take kids for their first dentist visit
A question often asked by parents, especially first-time parents, is when should you start taking your child to the dentist? Some experts say that you should take your child to see the dentist as soon as their teeth start to come through, while others recommend the visit takes place within 6 months of the first tooth appearing. Either way, the first dental visit should take place before the child turns 2, and between age 1-2 is most common.
How to prepare them
To make your child feel relaxed and comfortable for their first dentist visit, and any subsequent visits, it is important to prepare them so that they know what is going to happen. This will be less of an issue if your child is just 12 months old or less, but it will get more important as they get older.
You could try playing pretend with your child that you’re visiting the dentist, getting each other to open your mouths wide and inspect each other’s teeth, for example. Reading books about the dentist aimed at children is also a good idea, so they can see familiar characters going through the same experience.
To make your child more comfortable with the environment of the dentist’s office, it is also a good idea to bring them along to one of your check-ups. This way they can meet their dentist and become familiar with the waiting room, and also see that you go to the dentist with no problems. You could even ask your dentist to let your child sit in the chair to become even more comfortable with it.
A lot of the experience at the dentists is out of your hands. Although you can be there to support your child and keep them happy, the kind of experience they have will also depend on the dentist themselves. A friendly, family dentist can make your child feel at ease in the dentist’s chair and deliver pain free dentistry so they won’t be afraid of their next visit.
If you’re looking for a family dentist in the Piedmont Triad area, then contact Dr. Barabe to book an appointment today in Advance, NC.