Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Tricks to Helping Children Get Used to the Dentist

It is a necessity for kids to regularly go to the dentist to promote solid, home dental health habits and to keep their teeth healthy. Many children, and even a lot of adults, find going to the dentist to be terrifying. They have to lay in a chair surrounded by strangers with sharp metal objects on a tray in front of them, which make their way into their mouth. Also, if parents are doing what they are supposed to be doing, a child can make a trip to the dentist 10 times or more before they start kindergarten because of new teeth coming in. Here are four tricks you can use that should help ease your child’s fear of seeing the dentist.

Begin Very Early

You should take your baby to see the dentist no later than their first birthday. After the eruption of the first tooth, it is a good idea to take your child to see the dentist half a year later. The earlier you start the more comfortable and less afraid your child will be. Also, starting young promotes good dental habits, and good teeth will limit uncomfortable procedures too.

Keep the Explanation Simple

It is fine to spare your child the details of the appointment or procedure they are about to go through to reduce the apprehension. The more details you offer the more questions you are going to get. The more answers you have to give the more your child’s imagination my run into a scary place as far as the dentist is concerned.

Watch Your Language

When you are sitting around discussing an upcoming appointment for your child or even yourself at the dentist, refrain from negative keywords like shot, hurt and pain. Your dentist and their assistants are experts in dealing with scared children and adults, and they likely have their own way to describe procedures and instruments to reduce panic.

Prepare for Some Fussing

In a lot of cases, there is no way around it. There are going to be tantrums, and there is no reason to panic, get angry or be embarrassed. Pediatric or family dentists, like Family 1st Dental or someone similar, and their assistants have seen it all and know exactly what they are doing. They will be able to calm your child down, finish the procedure, and make your kid feel proud for being brave. Every visit like this will help create a bond, and you will soon see the fear of the dentist vanish from your child.

These four tricks have been perfected by dentists for generations now. It is important to remember that it was probably a dentist that wrote the very first guide on how to keep children calm at the dentist.

Tim Esterdahl

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