While going to the dentist can be scary for a child, here are a few ways you can ensure that it’s a positive experience for all.
As your baby grows, regular dental visits become an important step in preventing tooth decay and ensuring good oral health. It is advisable to start your child’s dental visits from as early as two years old. This forms the foundation and trust which is essential to a successful dental experience. This first dental visit is not only for the benefit of your two-year-old, but is more importantly advantageous to you, in preparing and providing you with the information and know-how that you need.
Top questions to ask when making a dental appointment
- Is the dental practice child friendly?
- Was the reception willing to address telephonic questions or make you feel at ease? Were they responsive?
- Were you able to get information with regards to the latest technology or hear what the practice has to offer for their pediatric patients?
- Ideally, look for a practice where the latest laser technology is used, as this means no more drilling, and ultimately, pain-free dentistry for your family!
6 Ways to prepare your child for a dentist visit
- Your child’s teeth are visible and tangible which makes it easy to generate awareness about dental care. Practice counting teeth with your child and ask him to notice the various types of teeth he has in his mouth, from molars to incisors.
- Speak positively about the first dental visit. The biggest mistake that parents make is that they create fear about the dentist, using the dentist as a threat if teeth aren’t well cared for. I try to cultivate positivity and excitement at each visit.
- Discuss what he can expect at his first visit: A lot of time will be spent talking and interacting with your child. This visit may not even involve your child sitting on the dental chair. It’s more about creating familiarity, with the rooms, with the faces, and with the dentist.
- Bring siblings together. Often younger children model their behaviour on their older siblings.
- Allow children to discover their own feeling towards the experience and to share as much as possible.
- Focus on positive reinforcement in the form of words, and not possessions, or sweets as a reward.