Kids and Dental Appointments
It may seem strange if you, as an adult and a parent, have been to the dentist for your whole life – but it is a simple fact that a large percentage of children fear trips to the dentist. This is true for a number of reasons, but at a very basic level, kids just aren’t often comfortable with allowing strangers to root around in their mouths with metal tools! If you think about it from a child’s point of view, it is actually a rather troubling concept. However, it is also necessary to alleviate your child’s fear of the dentist, because at some point everyone needs to become comfortable with having his or her teeth checked and cleaned. Of course, it’s better to achieve this comfort level as quickly as possible. So, here are a few tips for alleviating some of your child’s apprehension about dental visits.
First, you should put some serious effort into finding the right dentist for your kids. Do not simply bring them to your own dentist – first of all, not all dentists will even deal with children, and second, you want to find one who is specifically familiar with keeping kids comfortable in the dental office. You may want to start by visiting topdentists.com, a website where you can conduct a simple search for practicing dentists in your area. Once you generate a list of names in your area, you can start making phone calls and scheduling appointments until you figure out which dentist seems best for your child.
Next – and this is an extremely important step for many younger children – make sure that your child has an opportunity to meet his or her dentist before the first actual appointment. Granted, dentists are busy and you won’t have too long to introduce your child to the new dentist – but even a brief meeting can make the eventual first appointment a far less daunting prospect for your child. Children trust people they have had an opportunity to become comfortable with, so if your child’s dentist isn’t a total stranger the first time around, your child may be far more at ease with the first appointment.
Ultimately, it comes down to experience. Most kids who go to a few appointments without experiencing any pain or discomfort slowly learn to be comfortable with dental appointments. However, there are still ways that you can help your child to feel more at ease with the dentist, and with tooth care in general, and the steps and suggestions outlined above can go a long way toward achieving these goals.