Whether you have kids who need back-to-school dental check-ups or younger kids who have their first visit coming up, it’s important to make sure that they’re comfortable. It’s common for kids to feel nervous about dental visits, especially if they’ve never had one before. As a parent, there are quite a few steps you can take to make sure that your kids’ visits to the dentist go as smoothly as possible. Keep the following tips in mind for helping your children feel at ease during dental appointments.
Choose the Right Dentist
The dentist you choose can have a big impact on how comfortable your child feels. Look for dentists who offer family care rather than those who mainly focus on caring for adults. Going to a dentist who has plenty of experience providing care for kids helps ensure that yours will feel less anxious during their visits. Dentists who have worked with kids before know how to make them feel relaxed while also giving their teeth and gums the care they need.
Schedule Timely Dental Visits
If you have a young child who hasn’t been to the dentist, keep in mind that kids should have their first dental visit by their first birthday. Taking them for a dental check-up at this young age helps them get used to going to the dentist, which helps them feel much less nervous as they get older. Make sure that you bring your kids to the dentist twice a year for check-ups to keep their teeth healthy and help them feel more comfortable about having exams and cleanings.
Discuss Dental Visits with Your Kids
You can help your kids feel calmer about dental visits by discussing these appointments with them ahead of time. You can focus on topics such as the importance of keeping their teeth and gums clean and how the dentist can help them with this. You should also let them know what they can expect during their dental appointments. I always tell my young patients to open their mouths wide like an alligator, and I avoid using instruments during the first few exams, if possible. It’s best to avoid using words that could upset your kids, such as “drill” or “poke,” and use positive words instead to help them feel more at ease. Telling them we are checking for sugar bugs puts a most positive spin on their appointments.
Take a Tour
If possible, arrange a tour of the dentist’s office with your children before their appointment. Taking a tour means they’ll get to see where they’ll be going for their dental visit. This is much less stressful for them than having to go to an unfamiliar place if they’ve never been to the dentist before. During this tour, encourage them to ask questions about what to expect during their visit. They should also meet the dentist and dental staff during this tour if they can.
If your child is due for a dental check-up, please contact us at Brewery District Dental to make an appointment. Our dental team can ensure that your kids have clean, healthy teeth.