Keeping kids all smiles at the dentist
What? Impossible you say? Maybe not, if you get the kids in the right frame of mind beforehand and get them used to the idea at a very young age.
But let’s be real.
No child likes to visit the dentist. For many it can be one of the most terrifying experiences of their young lives. Horror stories are spread around the playground and over-active imaginations spin frightening dentist scenarios that haunt their dreams.
However, the right dentist is key. Say you live in Overland Park, Kansas, for instance. The right Overland Park Dentist who understands the fear children face in having dental work done, and who knows how to both emotionally and physically care for their young patients, can change a child’s attitude towards dental appointments for the rest of their lives.
Here are more steps parents can take to ensure their child isn’t one of the frightened ones.
Start ‘em young
The earlier you expose a child to something, the more commonplace and second-nature it will become to them. In an article published by Parents.com the author references Rhea Haugseth D.M.D, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, who states that an early introduction to dentistry will provide your child with a dental home where all their needs can be taken care of while reducing the fear that may strike them from being exposed for the first time at an older age. The article advices parents to take their child in at age 1 when the first tooth is visible. By having your child visit the dentist at a young age, they will become acclimated to opening their mouths to a gloved-hand, and seeing all the various tools of the trade. This will make all future dental appointments less frightening for them.
Find a dentist that specializes in kids dentistry
I remember my dentist as a kid. His name was Dr. Fink and his only patients were kids. We had so much fun at his name’s expense, that we almost forgot the reason for our visit! To have our teeth examined!
Mind your language
Some parents may try to educate their children on dental work but this can backfire. Keep it simple and don’t go into too much detail. Parents think that by telling their kids “you will get a tiny shot so you don’t feel any pain,” they are calming their little one’s nerves. However, no child wants to hear the “s word.” Also — and we’re pretty sure you guys know this already — avoid using words like “pain,” “drills,” or “hurt.” Kids can’t comprehend the context.
Finally, reward your child with words of praise. No matter how “good” or “bad” they behave at the dentist, tell your little one how brave he/she was. This will motivate the child to be stronger for the next visit.
Dentistry is a vital part of health maintenance that no child should go with out. With a lttle planning and forethought, it can be an experience that no child needs fear.