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How to Prepare Your Child for a Trip to the Dentist

two white dentist chairs inside white painted room

Taking your child to the dentist shouldn’t invoke fear or concern, but the reality is that many people have a fear of the dentist. If you educate and prepare your children before their first trip to the dentist, you can help eliminate their fears before they start. Here are a few tips on how to fully prepare your child for their first and subsequent trips to the Dentist In Catoosa.

Set a Good Example

Children learn by observing their parents, which is a great starting point when preparing your children ahead of time. Observing good dental hygiene is the first and most obvious step. Introducing your child to a toothbrush and toothpaste as a baby is not only critical to good dental hygiene, but it sets the tone for their first trip to the dentist.

When your child is old enough to reason with, speak to them about doctors who look after people’s teeth and watch educational videos with them. This removes the mystery and unknown facets of dentistry and replaces fear with understanding.

Find puzzles, books or toys that simulate trips to the dentist to incorporate a healthy understanding of what a dentist does. Introducing a child to the concept of a dentist and dental hygiene at a young age is a great way to deter feelings of fear or anxiety that may occur.

The Dentist Trip

Ideally, taking your child along to your dentist appointment can show them that there is nothing to fear – as long as you don’t have a fear of dentists! Explaining all the steps along the way to your child can help them grasp the concept of having a check-up and perhaps a procedure done. Try avoiding panic and crying in the chair! Never use negative words or phrases to describe the dentist or procedures, as this sets a bad precedent for your children.

Prepare your children in the comfort of your own home by playing dentist with them. Take turns being the dentist and the patient to include an element of play and fun into the experience. This way you can manage expectations beforehand to ensure a tearful-free dentist visit.

Most dentists will be prepared to treat children and will be mindful of their fears, which goes a long way to alleviating the fear or discomfort of a dentist’s touch. If you have discussed the dentist trip with your child beforehand, the visit should be received well by everyone.

Regular Visits

A child is ready for their first dentist appointment after 12 months of age. Regular dentist visits from a young age are helpful in keeping the fear of a dentist at bay. Regular dental checkups and cleaning should be done twice a year with a trusted and experienced pediatric dentist. Encouraging dental hygiene on a daily basis will ensure that awkward dental procedures do not have to be performed. A sort of prevention instead of cure stance can minimize the need for fillings or root canals.

Approaching the subject of dentistry in an open and fun way with your child is the best method of combatting the fear of dentists within them. Remember to be their biggest cheerleader before, during and after their visit to the dentist to encourage positive experiences! Now all that is left to do is smile!

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Hanna Heller

Hanna is the entertainment and lifestyle editor for CDN. Fan of great movies, legendary music, outdoor activities and cool stuff in general, her opinions, as expressed in her articles, are her own and not necessarily shared by anyone .. anywhere .. ever. Follow Hanna on Twitter: @Hanna_CDN

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