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children at dental office

Tips for Parents on Taking Their Child to the Dentist

Taking your kids to the dentist is necessary to keep their teeth and gums healthy. However, from a child’s perspective, a trip to the dentist could be a scary event. To make your child feel comfortable and relaxed for visiting the dentist, follow these simple steps.

Start Young

The earlier a child visits the dentist, the better it is for them. It provides them a ‘dental home’ where all their needs; be it a preventive visit or an emergency are taken care of. It is ideal if the first visit starts at the age of 1 or when the first tooth is visible.

Keep It Simple

When preparing for the first visit, try not to include too many details. Doing so raises more questions, thereby creating unnecessary anxiety. Try to have a positive attitude when you discuss an upcoming visit with your little one.

Watch Your Words

Do not use negative words like ‘shot, hurt or pain’ in front of your children. Instead use positive phrases like “clean, strong, healthy teeth” to make the visit seem fun and good rather than scary and alarming.

Consider an Imaginary Visit

Before the first dentist appointment, play a game of dentist and patient with your child. You just need a toothbrush for it. Count your little one’s teeth. Then let your child role-play by using a toothbrush to clean the teeth of some toy. The idea is to get them familiar with the process so that they feel comfortable for the real visit.

Be Prepared for Some Fuss

It is normal for a child to cry, whine, wiggle, and not want to be examined by a stranger. Stay calm and remember that the dentist is used to working with children and is familiar with their tantrums.

Avoid Bribing

Do not offer your child a special treat if he or she behaves well at the dentist. Doing so will only increase their apprehension. Instead, after the visit is over, praise your child for their good behaviour and bravery.

Emphasize the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Tell your child that visiting a dentist is not a choice but a necessity. Tell them that the dentist will take care of their teeth so that they are strong and healthy. You can also tell that the dentist will ensure that they have a beautiful smile for years to come.

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