Preparing your child for the dentist

Adults often cringe at the thought of visiting the dentist. So it should come as no surprise that for a child dental care is considered a scary event. Often meet with resistance, fear and crying over what will occur. To keep a child from panicking and make their first dental visit less stressful, parents can prepare their children in advance for a dental visit.

Look for a Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist works exclusively with children from infancy to teenage years, giving them the expertise and patience to handle the specific oral health needs of children. A Pediatric dentist and their staff are also trained in techniques to manage child behavior and reduce anxiety. Including storytelling, singing, playing music and explaining a procedure to children in simple terms they understand. A friendly and relaxing environment for dental care is also created by decorating their office with children in mind and turning their waiting rooms into playrooms. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentist is a great resource for finding local pediatric dentist for dental care.

Setting the Appointment

No one knows your child’s moods and behaviors better than you. You can keep a dental visit from turning sour by scheduling your child’s appointment at a time they are more likely to be in a good mood. Avoid setting an appointment for dental care near nap time or snack time and make sure your child rests well the night before an appointment.

Introduce the Idea of Dental Care In Advance

A lot of a child’s fear of dental care can be reduced by giving children an idea of what they will face during dental care. Take a child with you during your dental appointment, this gives them a chance to see there is nothing to fear and lets them see how the dentist works. If possible, discuss with your child pediatrician the possibility of taking your child on a tour of their office before their first visit is scheduled. This will allow your child to create a positive relationship with your dentist so on the day of the appointment they suffer from less anxiety.

Highlight the Positives

Children with negative views of the dentist often pick up anxiety from their parents. Don’t offer your child detailed explanations of the types of procedures that dentist do. When speaking about the dentist avoid negative words, such as hurt, pain, drill, and scared. Instead, use positive words such as play, counting teeth, fun and tickly toothpaste to refer to Novocain.

Use Media Resources

Books about dental care can be read to your child at bedtime to let them see going to the dentist as an adventure instead of something to fear. Introduce books several weeks before a child’s first appointment to ease your child into the idea of visiting a dentist. Age appropriate dental care videos give children more confidence and an idea of what to expect. Dental coloring pages and activity sheets are fun ways of exploring more about dentist. If your child has a favorite cartoon character or TV program they watch finding related dental care information will help them to see going to the dentist in a positive light. Online dental care web sites geared towards children offer dental games and activities that also help to make dental care and visiting the dentist seem fun.

Then always determine the costs of dental treatments. Dental costs should include procedure fees, anesthesia expenses, and facility fees. If you and your family have dental insurance, talk about this with your dentist.

Lastly, find out if the dentist clinic is located near you as this will be very important especially in times when you or your family will be required to have multiple visits. You also need to know if the dental team is courteous and friendly or not. Being uncomfortable with the dental team may affect your chances of coming back for your follow-up visits.

Once you and your family have chosen the right family dentist, do still continue to evaluate your dentist during the first visit and most especially for the subsequent ones.

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