Do you feel nervous when you visit the dentist? If you do, it is really easy to pass this fear onto your child. Going to the dentist is something that everyone has to do, so you should try to make your little one feel positive about trips to the dental office from an early age. If you child develops a fear of the dentist, it is likely it will stay will them throughout their life. Below are a few tips to help you make your child feel positively about going to the dentist.
The sooner you start to take you kid to the dentist, the sooner they will get used to the idea. The Australian Dental Association recommends that you take your child to the dentist when they are aged around 2 years. This will allow the dentist to check that your child's teeth are developing properly, and it will allow your child to become familiar with the dental office.
Be positive but be honest
You should make sure that you speak positively about the dentist to your child, but you should avoid lying. For example, you should not make unrealistic promises such as saying that a visit to the dentist will never hurt. If you tell your child this and they later need to undergo uncomfortable or painful treatment, they will lose trust in you and the dentist. You should use neutral language when speaking about dental visits.
Plan something fun
You should plan a fun trip or activity with your child, which you can enjoy after you visit the dentist. This will reward them and will help to create a positive association in the child's mind between the fun activity of trip and the visit to the dental office.
Don't visit the same dentist
While it might seem like a good idea to sign your child up to visit the same dentist that you visit, it may be a better idea to take them to a paediatric dentist who specialises in dealing with children. Paediatric dental offices are generally more child-friendly.
While it is fine to gossip with friends about a difficult dental appointment, you should always make sure that your child is not within earshot. If your child overhears you talking about a painful root canal, it will feed their fears about visiting the dentist.
If you have any questions about your child's first dental appointment, you should contact a family dentist who will be able to offer help and assistance.