Fear of the dentist is common in adults and children alike, so you may be worried about your child’s earliest visits to the dentist office in Layton. But do not despair! There are a number of steps you can take to raise your child to not fear the dentist, and we at Hillfield Pediatric have compiled a list of our best tips here.
Children should see the dentist by the time they get their first tooth, or by their first birthday (whatever comes first). This dental visit does not usually involve much beyond a checkup, but it is key to establishing a routine so that your child feels comfortable at the dentist’s office. Children — especially those who tend to get a bit anxious — usually take well to routine, as it gives them a sense of confidence and security to know what’s going to happen.
For earlier dental visits — before a routine is established — it is helpful to talk to your child about the dentist before you go. Explain what will happen at the appointment, and make sure not to let any of your own dental fears come through in the conversation. If you are scared of the dentist and your child picks up on that, they will think they have a reason to be scared too. Put on a brave face and tell your child that going to the dentist is important to ensuring their teeth will grow strong.
If your child seems apprehensive and you think they could use a little extra preparation, there are plenty of popular children’s books and TV show episodes designed to address this very problem.
When kids see their favorite cartoon character be brave at the dentist, they’ll want to be brave too.
Rewarding your child for being well behaved at the dentist is a great way to get your child to associate positive feelings with going to the dentist. However, it’s important to choose your words carefully. Many parents are tempted to say something like, “If you are good at the dentist and don’t cry or squirm in your chair, we’ll go pick out a new toy after your appointment!” Phrasing like this teaches your child that the dentist’s office is a place where crying and squirming take place.
You don’t want to give your child the idea that there is anything out of the ordinary about going to the dentist. Instead, wait until the appointment is over to allude to any rewards. If you’re satisfied with or even proud of their behavior, tell them why. You could even throw in a little treat at the end.
One of the best things you can do for your child’s comfort at their early dental visits is taking them to a children’s dentist in Layton. Not only is it more fun, but pediatric dentists and their staff are used to working with children. While you may worry that your child’s behavior at the dentist will be unpredictable, chances are good that a pediatric dentist’s office has seen it all before. For top-quality family dental care in Layton, schedule your child’s first dentist appointment at Hillfield Pediatrics.