For some children, a visit to the dentist is something they would rather not do. This is more so the case for children that have gone through serious dental procedures before. Whether a child is feeling weary of their first dentist appointment or the fear of their last visit is still deeply embedded in them, preparing them for the next visit ahead of time is essential.
Whether it is a simple checkup or a more complicated procedure, you need to tell your child what is going to happen during the appointment. You can rest assured that there will be plenty of questions coming from them so you should be prepared with answers. The most important thing is not to lie. Instead, you can try to find easy ways to describe the process in a comforting tone. For children that prefer visual aids, you can use photos of pediatric dental offices to help them understand things more easily.
When explaining things, it is important to make sure you point out some of the areas of concern like the dentist chair, the overhead light and other equipment that the child might encounter. You can also try and reinforce positive behaviour and settle on an appropriate reward for your child together.
Children tend to find comfort in things they love. Whether it is a stuffed animal or a small toy, you can encourage them to bring it with them for support as long as it does not interfere with the procedure that will be carried out during their appointment. In some dental offices, these toys are readily available and your child can choose to hold one to improve their comfort level. If your child insists on bringing something to comfort them from home, you can call the office ahead of time to alert the dentist and know if it would be fine for your child to bring the item of their choice.
The goal is to make sure that your child understands what is going to happen. If they are aware, they will be less likely to be nervous. Start by choosing books that are relevant to his age and read them to him/her. You can also role play using a toy dental kit or watch TV episodes with a first doctor or dental visit.
Goode oral care habits which include dental appointments are essential especially at an early stage and are the key to healthy teeth. It is important that your child understands that you only want to keep your teeth healthy and that a visit to the dentist is nothing to be scared about. However, you can only achieve this by taking the right steps and ensuring that your child is comfortable with the visit beforehand.Back to Blog