Dental anxiety or fear of the dentist is common in young children and adults alike. When children are born, they begin seeing a pediatrician. They won’t visit the dentist until they’re older. This gap can create fear and anxiety about visiting a new place or being seen by a new doctor. Thankfully, there are a few ways parents can ensure their children feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed while visiting a Nicholasville children’s dentist. How can you make your child’s visit to the dentist a great experience?
From scheduling appointments to rewarding good behavior, there’s a lot you can do. Continue reading below to learn more to better prepare yourself and your child for the kids’ dentist.
Bring Them From an Early Age
The earlier you begin to bring your child to the dentist, the easier it’ll be for them to adjust. Did you know you can begin brushing your child’s gums before they even grow teeth in? That’s right, and you should bring them to the dentist as soon as their first tooth grows in.
Once that first baby tooth breaks through the gums, you can contact a Nicholasville pediatric dentist and schedule their first appointment. The dentist can then take x-rays of their mouths and examine all of their teeth, even the ones that haven’t grown in yet.
Do your best to find a great dentist that’s good with your child who they can see from an early age until adulthood.
Schedule Morning Appointments
Scheduling morning appointments is always a good idea. If your child struggles with dental anxiety, then it could be difficult for them to think about the appointment throughout the entire day. It might also cause more stress for them to bring them in while they’re tired or hungry.
To avoid adding any other frustrations into the mix, consider scheduling their appointments for first thing in the morning. They’ll be fed, happy, and energized for the day. Once the appointment is over, both you and your little one can relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
Bring a Comfort Item
A comfort item can be a big help for children when visiting the dentist. The comfort item they bring can be anything that brings them safety and comfort. If this is a blanket, a stuffed animal, or something else, then consider allowing them to bring the item along with them.
You can let the dentist know that your child would feel better bringing this item along with them and holding onto it during their visit.
Use Noise-Canceling Headphones
Sometimes, the dental equipment and tools the dentist uses can cause fear in small children. The tools are new to your child and your child will be unfamiliar with most of the equipment used and what each tool does. Some of the tools can even be quite loud at times.
Noise-canceling headphones are a great way to provide some comfort to your child. You can also bring music for your child to listen to during the appointment. Your child won’t have to focus on the loud noises of the tools and can instead listen to their favorite songs or videos.
Use Positive Language
When speaking about the dentist and the up-and-coming dentist appointment, be sure to use positive language. Speaking positively about the dentist can help reassure your child that the dentist is there to help and is a good thing. Some words you might want to avoid are “pain,” hurt,” or “shot.”
Use neutral language and get excited about the appointment for them. If you’re tense or nervous about the appointment, then they could play off of these feelings and emotions and begin to feel even more nervous or anxious than before.
Teach Your Child About the Dentist
Sometimes, the unknown causes fear. When your child is unsure about what to expect from the dentist’s appointment, it can create more anxiety and fear. To help reduce their anxiety, teach your child about the dentist.
Teach them what they can expect from the dentist’s appointment and why visiting the dentist is so important. To do this, you can show them what happens to teeth if not well cared for. You can explain to them how an emergency pediatric dentist can help them if they were to chip or break a tooth or knock a tooth out.
You can also show them pictures or watch videos about dental hygiene with them. You can even find books and videos about visiting the dentist and information on oral hygiene with your child’s favorite characters in it. When they see their favorite characters visiting the dentist, they’ll feel more comfortable visiting the dentist as well.
Provide Rewards After the Visit
Once the visit is over and your child’s ready to check out, the best dentist for kids will offer your child a goodie bag. Inside this bag, your child might find stickers, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and other fun things. This acts as a reward for your child tackling their fears and completing their dentist appointment.
After you leave the office, you can reward your child as well. Take them to their favorite place to eat (if allowed to eat right away). You can also take them to the park to let them run around and play, or something else.
The more appointments they go to and are rewarded for, the more they’ll look forward to visiting the dentist.
Are You Ready to Visit a Nicholasville Children’s Dentist?
Is your child ready to see a Nicholasville children’s dentist? If you’re looking for a new pediatric dentist for your child, look no further than KY Tooth Fairy. Our goal is to help children reach optimum oral health through compassionate dental care.
Click here to take an office tour and schedule your child’s first appointment.