Ask any kids dentist and they’ll tell you, it’s important for a child to grow up getting regular dental checks. In fact, it’s recommended that a child’s first appointment be around the time they reach twelve months – once their baby teeth are just starting to grow in.
The problem, of course, is that many kids are anxious – or even scared – about visiting the dentist. Even telling them it’s a kids’ dentist may not make much of a difference. So, Reveal Dental wanted to present some tips for avoiding anxiety and making your child’s visit to the dentist as pleasant as possible.
How to Reduce Your Child’s Fear of The Dentist
1 – Start early
Beyond the health reasons that it’s a good idea to start a child’s dental appointments around their first birthday, there’s also a psychological reason: If they start going to the dentist early in life, before they’ve started to become afraid of new experiences, they’re much less likely to be fearful later. If going to the dentist has “always” been part of their life, they won’t fuss.
2 – Try to avoid negative depictions of dentists
We know, it’s tough monitoring all the various media your child is exposed to these days. However, do your best to keep them away from materials that depict dentistry as scary or painful. These are tropes that movies and cartoons love to utilize, but they’re just going to set up negative expectations for a young child.
3 – Don’t give too many details
If you’re dealing with a child that’s old enough to ask questions, try to be as vague as possible. Answers that are too specific could cause new anxiety or lead to additional questions. Keep it simple with answers like, “He just wants to count your teeth and see your smile!”
4 – Consider a bit a role playing
If your child is particularly anxious or uncertain about new situations, try roleplaying with them. Set up a small chair with a tray containing a couple things like a toothbrush and floss, then mimic counting their teeth or shining a light into their mouth. Then it will seem more familiar when they actually visit a kids dentist.
Reveal Dental Welcomes Families
At Reveal Dental, we pride ourselves on making children feel as comfortable as possible. If it’s time for your toddler’s first dental visit, contact us for an appointment!