Most of us don’t exactly look forward to dental visits—after all, unless you have perfect teeth, chances are there could be a little bit of pain and discomfort while you get those teeth cleaned or get cavities filled—but for others, fear of the dentist can go beyond not really wanting to go, to being full-fledged dental anxiety or even dental phobia. People who suffer from these fears and anxieties can actually be at significant risk of developing dangerous oral health conditions because they put off going to the dentist for so long.
Going to the dentist can be a particularly scary experience for children, which is why it’s so important for parents to do what they can to ease anxiety and fear and set your child up for a successful visit. Not doing so may actually be feeding into that fear and anxiety that could cause your child to suffer from a lifetime of unreasonable dental fears.
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to create a successful dental visit for your child is to take them somewhere that is designed with kids in mind. When you visit a pediatric dentists’ office, you’ll get a place that caters to children, from the check-in and waiting room up front to the staff and dentists who are trained in behavioral management techniques to help kids feel safe and at ease during their visit.
Taking a child into a new experience can be scary, so the most successful dental visits are ones where the child already knows what they can expect. Parents should talk to their children about what might happen at the dentist’s office, and let them ask questions or discuss some of their concerns and fears. If you’re not sure as a parent what to talk about, call your pediatric dentist in Holladay and ask them for some tips and strategies to talk to your child. However, if you have your own dental anxiety or phobia, it’s best to let someone else talk to your child about the visit so you can avoid communicating your own fears to your child.
Once at the dentist, the best thing is to avoid any surprises for your child. A successful kids dentist in Salt Lake City will use a method called Tell-Show-Do, where they first discuss what they are going to do, then show your child what will happen (in an age-appropriate way), then perform the work. It takes a little bit longer, but helps minimize anxiety during the procedure.
Perhaps the best way to make your child’s visits to the dentist better is to practice good oral health habits every day at home, thus reducing the chance that your child will suffer from tooth decay, pain, and cavities. Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, flossing once a day, and avoiding sugary drinks and treats throughout the day are all ways that you can help keep your child’s mouth as healthy as possible.
For more information about setting your child up for success at his or her dental visits, call Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.