Written By Natalie Wilson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Taking children to the dentist for regular checkups is important to not only keep their teeth healthy but to encourage proper oral hygiene habits. Many children have a fear of the dentist, and for them, a dental checkup can be a particularly difficult and scary event.
From the noises and smells to the sensations and masked dentists looking down at them, for a child who doesn’t completely understand what is going on, it’s not hard to see why it can make them feel uncomfortable.
However, children who don’t frequently go for checkups at the dentist are more likely to develop serious health problems as they get older if this fear is not defeated at an early age. The earlier that children visit the dentist, the better, but how exactly do you prepare your child for visiting the dentist and being comfortable with checkups? Let’s take a look at some top tips.
Lead By Example
If your child sees that you get scared and anxious before a visit to the dentist, then they will pick up on these nerves and act the same way, especially if they don’t know what to expect. Then, they will go into their checkup worried and scared, which will only continue as they get older.
Before they even go to the dentist for a checkup, teach your child about the importance of dental and oral health and explain why they need to brush their teeth twice a day. Make them proud of their teeth and want to show them off, so that when they do go to the dentist, they’ll be more than happy to sit back and let the dentist praise them on how well they’ve looked after their teeth.
If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, if you can, avoid going with your child so that they don’t pick up on any of these worries.
Consider A Private Dentist
If you have particularly high anxiety when it comes to the dentist, or if your child has been previously and really didn’t enjoy the experience, then it might be best to consider making an arrangement with a private dentist.
NHS dentists are often limited to certain appointment lengths, which can mean that they are restricted on time when it comes to chatting or making you feel at ease.
Private dentists often have much shorter waiting lists and aren’t often restricted by times, so if you need an appointment sooner rather than later or want to introduce your child to a more relaxed dentist experience, a private dentist might be the best option.
Private dentists often work very closely with nervous dental patients, plus the overall experience can feel much more pleasant, whether it’s because they offer TV screens in the ceiling or dedicated spaces to brush your teeth prior to your appointment.
Private dentists often feel very luxurious and the team will do their very best to make you feel welcome. This alone can make all the difference to your dentist experience.
Play Pretend Dentists At Home
One of the biggest causes of children becoming uncomfortable at the dentist is the fear of the unknown. The dentist can be a very strange place and it’s important to get your child used to some of the details of the dentist before their visits and what else could be better than setting up a home dentist!
You can buy kids play dentistry sets online to play pretend dentists in the run-up to your child’s appointment or get them used to opening their mouths as wide as they can for the dentist to get a good look at all their good brushing or to see how shiny their teeth are.
Speak To Your Dentist
If your child’s first dental appointment is coming up, it’s likely that your dentist will already be aware of this, but you can always ring up prior to your appointment and explain to them. Then, when you appear at the dentist, they can show your child some of the tools they’ll be using, make them comfortable in the chair and answer any questions they may have.
The stereotype of stern and scary dentists using outdated treatments and techniques is long gone, and these days, dentists go to great lengths to make sure that all patients, no matter their age, feel comfortable once they are in the chair.
Dentists are there to help, not lecture, so encourage your child to ask any questions they have and don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for advice on looking after your family’s dental health.
Your child should be visiting the dentist from the age that their first teeth come through, so that not only can they get used to the experience of going to the dentist, but also so that their dental health is being monitored from a very early age. This means that, as they get older, your dentist will be more likely to spot any potential problems early on.
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Natalie Wilson is a freelance health and wellness writer. She loves researching and writing about new health trends and topics, as well as keeping up to date with the latest health news. When not writing, you can find her taking long walks in the countryside with her dog or browsing her nearest bookstore. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.