Every parent knows that a children’s behavior is not predictable 100% of the time.
Your nervous child may surprise you and hop right up on the dentist’s chair without hesitation or you’re bubbly out-going child may be apprehensive and hide behind you. They may have nervous energy that makes them a chatter box or they may want to cry, we have seen it all and will take our time to get your child to warm up to us.
In our office, we like to begin with a training visit. We ask parents to bring their child with them during a regular exam and show the child that there is nothing to be concerned about. We will often give the child a ride in the chair and tickle their teeth with a polisher. It is very important that your child’s early experiences with their dentist are positive. We want to establish good habits and help them become long-term patients. We want them to look forward to coming back, even as adults when the decision is theirs!
With years of experience I have a few tips I’d like to share with you that may make it easier on you and your child when you bring them in for their dental visits:
- Avoid bribing your child. Bribery before an office visit suggests to a child that the upcoming task may be hard or difficult and can make a child apprehensive of their dental visit. Most dental offices will use positive reinforcements at the time of the visit and sometimes even beyond so let them take the lead on rewarding your child.
- Take your child to observe yourself getting your teeth cleaned. The sights, sounds and smells of the office will be new, but seeing you relaxed and enjoying the experience will let your child know that everything is ok. Prior to your child’s visit, if you want to play dress up or role play at home with your child that may be helpful!
- Do not worry! Your child can sense your apprehension and will mirror your bundle of nerves. Help your child feel comfortable by helping them see how exciting things can be; new-to-them toys, screen time, some offices even have play gyms to climb on while waiting and televisions for the children to watch while laying back getting their teeth cleaned.
- Don’t stress! We understand that every parent wants their child to be on their best behavior, but honestly there isn’t much we haven’t seen. Our pediatric dental staff have been trained to help your child overcome fears or anxiety by making their visit as fun as possible and helping calm any nerves.
We look forward to helping you establish healthy dental habits for your child and can’t wait to see their beautiful smile as they grow up and become world changers! Give us a call today and let us bring out your child’s best smile!
Questions about your child's first appointment? Check out these tips! You will also receive a free coloring page!