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Tips on Managing Your Child’s Fear of the Family Dentistry

WHILE regular dental visits are recommended at least twice a year for cleaning, oral exam, and other preventive measures, most kids perceive the idea as a threat. At their tender age, these young innocent souls don’t fully realize yet the importance of keeping a good dental hygiene. If your child is afraid of going to the dentist, here are a few tips that should help them overcome their fear:

  1. Make your kid understand. Talk to him in the most gentle manner to make him understand the importance of visiting to the dentist. Stir up his imagination by painting the dentist as a superhero fighting off the villains that are the cavities and the germs in his mouth. Assure your child that it would be easy, fast and painless. Most of all, be patient through this process. Family dentistry in Holladay, Utah promises to give your child the best dental experience possible.  
  2. Promise a reward. Tried and tested approach to lure your kids to the dentist is to promise a reward right after. You could promise to buy him anything he’d ask. Make sure you stick to it to keep him coming back to the dentist when the need arises.
  3. Recognize your child’s braveness after. After going through the procedure, pat your child for a job well done. Praise him for his courage and braveness as this would boost his confidence and would keep him coming back for more. Tell him that he is also a superhero for helping the dentist fight off the cavities.

With a push of optimism, teaching your kids the benefits of maintaining dental health at an early age wouldn’t be too hard, including regular dental checkups. After all, going to the dentist should not have to be so scary.

Eventually, the process would not be a tug of war anymore as this would develop into a habit. And when he’s grown up, you probably wouldn’t have to remind him about it anymore as he would do it on his own. Plus, it would create a domino-effect when your child would become the parent already. He’d know exactly what to do!

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When Is Your Child’s First Dental Visit?

Often, parents wait until their kids are older before making an appointment for their first dental visit. Generally, when a child receives his first tooth, it is already an indication that he is ready for a dental exam. However, many of us had to wait until our child turns one year old to setup appointment for his first family dentistry checkup.

One common mistake parents make is waiting for their children to develop dental habits before taking them to a dentist. It is important to remember that children must be able to visit a dentist at an early age, preferably as soon as they have their first tooth, to ensure that the dentist and the parents can help and guide them develop healthy oral habits. At this early stage, the dentist can already identify problems in the oral cavity. The checkup, as a whole, can prevent dental issues as they age.

Nurture their curiosity all the time.

Children are always curious about new things in their surroundings and in their bodies. Start by educating them about their mouth and teeth, while talking about what they can do with it. Simply asking them to identify these parts in their bodies is a good start for very young child. Also, let them understand the differences between the bad and healthy dental habits.

How to prepare for your child’s first dental visit?

Some parents take their kids to the same dentist they visit. While this is fine, just remember that there are dentists who specialize in pediatric dental care.

Parents should go with family dentistry clinics for pediatric care when planning their child’s dental exam. Taking them to your own dentist may be convenient for you, but not the best option for your child. Pediatric dentists can make your child’s first visit, if not memorable, the most pleasant. These dental professionals are experts on providing comfort and fun experience for kids and will eventually develop a positive relationship towards his dentist.

Help them prepare themselves.

There are a lot of educational books and TV shows where kids can learn more about their bodies. Prior to their scheduled appointment, have them watch helpful kids’ shows featuring dental health care or visit YouTube online.  You can also read them a picture book about smile or oral care.

Teach them basic oral hygiene.

Your home is the first place where your children learn about good oral hygiene. As parents, promote a positive attitude towards taking care of their teeth and teach them the importance of keeping both teeth and gums healthy. While many parents fear their dental visits, make sure to keep this to yourselves and not show them to your children.

Make it a comfortable experience.

Since it is your child’s first dental exam, plan a pleasing trip for him. A little special effort like getting him a toy as a token will do him good. You can also take him to the ice cream shop after the visit as a reward.

Allow him to take some reinforcements with him.

Children will feel more comfortable when they are with their best buddies. Allow your child to choose a buddy whether a friend or his favorite toy to act as reinforcement.

As parents, you play a vital role in this important appointment. Make sure to have a plan and choose a pediatric dentist from family dentistry professionals. Your child’s first dental exam will determine his attitude towards oral hygiene.

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