Taking your child to the dentist is one of the most important activities he/she to do growing up, but it’s also one of the most difficult experiences for the child and parents as well. Dental visits are not optional.
Teeth and gum health is a vital component of a child’s overall health. To maintain that good health, the child absolutely needs a dentist.
Because of the nature of the processes involved inside a dental clinic, kids always feel intimidated during dental visits. We cannot blame our kids, as we adults also do not like to be in that chair with all sorts of instruments and lights in your face, not mentioning the discomfort and pain we go through. That is why kids can be anxious, scared, and often misbehave when brought to the dental clinic.
Despite that, there are ways parents can solve this puzzle. How you act as a parent during dental visits will largely affect how your child will behave during that visit.
Start Your Child’s Dental Routines Early
It is always good to start early. This also applies to when visiting the dentist. Starting dental visits for your child early in his growth will prove to be beneficial. Younger minds are easier to influence so it would be easier for you to get your child comfortable in the dental clinic.
Medical professionals suggest that children should start to visit the dentist regularly when he/she reaches the age of one. When the first visible tooth comes out, that is the time you begin the first visits as tooth decay may start. When your child is a toddler, around two to three years of age, professional teeth cleaning and fluoride applications are recommended.
Toddlers are probably the toughest to convince to sit still for a significant amount of time, but if you have started early and he/she got used to it early, it would be less of a problem than it should be.
Integrate Dental Topics and Dental Visits in Conversation
It is vital for any parent to introduce dental health and dentists to their child. You as a parent need to establish the importance of it as so it registers to the child’s mind. When talking about it, you can be a bit creative to make an impression of dental visits are fun and not scary.
For instance, you can introduce visits to the dentist through good stories and plays. You also can play dentist and use toys and other props to actually make them feel comfortable with some dental equipment.
Once the child establishes a connection between the necessity of dental health and dental visits being fun, he/she will be comfortable with the visits.
Patience and Understanding is Key
As a parent, like pediatric dentist, you need to understand that violent and undesirable behavior towards the dentist and dental visits by a child is very natural. No matter how well you have prepared your child for these visits, there will be times he/she will not like it and act up.
Do not, in any circumstance, be stressed out and show anger to the child. It will do more harm than help. You need to show your child calmness and teach it to him/her. Assurance is also vital. Remember the child is misbehaving because he/she is scared. If you eliminate that fear, the child should calm down.
Appreciation Will Help
Every successful dental visit you do with your child, appreciating him/her would do wonders. Every time they need to visit again, he/she will remember it and it will help the child calm down and get comfortable. Plus, she or he will surely put in extra effort not to misbehave thinking you will appreciate it.
Because dental visits are a must and are not very attractive for children, a good amount of effort and thinking is needed from parents to keep children calm and behave appropriately during visiting the dentist.