Visiting the dentist for regular checkups and keeping track of a healthy dental formula is essential for every individual and even for a child. Taking your child to the dentist may be stressful because the child responds or behaves once there. Most children may be stubborn or fear seeing the dentist. As a parent, you need to help your child stay calm and get accustomed to regular dental visits and appointments without fear of rejection. This article explores some essential practices you could incorporate into your child’s life to make dental visits easier and bearable.
1- Start Dental Appointments Early
To counter fear and anxiety in children, starting dental appointments early, when they are 3-6months of age, is vital. This way, they grow already used to the same, so they will not be stubborn when they are older. If you decide to take them suddenly when they are older, say five or six years, they’ll be stubborn. The strange environment they are introduced to will be scary. The white walls, funny smells, and probing hands will be too much for the child to handle. Start early and as they grow, let the child see that visiting the dentist is a regular part of your life.
2- Consider a Pretend Visit
You can stage a dental visit with your child at home before the actual dental visit. This gives your child an idea of what to expect in the holiday and how to go about it. You can pretend to be the dentist and use a toothbrush to count your child’s teeth from number 1 or letter A. Don’t make drilling noises or other scary voices that scare your child away. You can also have your child be the dentist of a toy or stuffed animal. The goal of the pretend visit is to get your child familiar with the dentist’s environment and be free about it.
3- Allow Them Comfort Objects and Toys
Giving your child toys and comfort objects while visiting the dentist could also help keep them calm. Toys can help reduce stress and anxiety among children during dental appointments. Things like books and portable game consoles offer alternatives for probing fingers. They also provide calmness and remove the child’s concentration from what is happening around them. When going for surgery, however, it is essential to ensure that the toys given to the child do not affect the process. The toys should also not destroy the mouth, which is a critical area of concern with the dentist.
4- Stay in the Room at All Times
Your presence in the dentist’s room with your child is enough to comfort them. They feel comfortable when you are there with them, making the dental experience less scary. You can maintain a conversation with the dentist and the child throughout the procedure so that your child is assured of your presence. Being too quiet may create anxiety in the child, thinking that you have left, which is disruptive because they will keep tilting their head to see if you are present.
Dental visits are essential for your child so ensure that you take them to safe and comfortable environments, either for children alone or those that accommodate all ages.