Getting kids to the dentist can be one of life’s great challenges. Even a routine check-up with a dentist Durham NC becomes an epic ordeal of screaming, crying, and bad behavior on the part of both you and your child. Let’s face it, most adults don’t go to the dentist as often as they should because of fears or phobias related to such visits. Imagine how kids must feel.
But children must see a dentist on a regular basis to promote good oral health and avoid the perils of gum disease and cavities. So, it’s up to you to take steps to make a trip to the dentist a much more positive experience and reduce the anxiety associated with sitting in that chair. The most important thing to keep in mind is that most adults’ fears of the dentist were caused by childhood trauma that they were subject to in a dentist’s office.
Don’t lay the groundwork for a lifetime of poor oral habits with your child. Consider these helpful hints for making the dentist’s office a less frightening place:
Choose Pediatric Care
One of the worst mistakes that a parent can make when taking their child to get dental care is to neglect the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general practitioner. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with children, their offices are far more familiar and inviting to a child, and everything about the visit is designed to cater to a child’s worst fears.
Pediatric dentists understand how to handle children with kid gloves and they are better prepared to address the concerns that kids have when they sit in a dentist chair. If you really want to reduce the anxiety of a child going to the dentist, choose a pediatric dental office to make it easier and less stressful for your child and you.
This is so important in reducing the fear and anxiety of a child who is about to get into the dentist chair. But too many parents will go out of their way to put off informing the child of a visit, sometimes surprising them with an arrival to the dental office under false pretense. That is just about the very worst thing you can do for reducing anxiety in a child because they are unprepared to handle the stress of the visit and it will only make their fears worse.
But informing the child that you will be taking them to the dentist with ample fair warning is actually the better alternative in the long run. For the short-term, it may cause a temper tantrum and lead to a lot of misbehaving, but that is much more preferable to a shock meltdown in the dentist’s office.
Good communication is also about more than just fair warning, it allows you and even the dental office to explain, in detail, what the child will be experiencing and give the child the opportunity to ask questions and process the realities of the visit with respect to discomfort. After all, it’s pain that a child fears most in the dentist chair and if those fears can be put to rest everyone will be much better off.