Admit it, when you’re still a child, you feared a particular person – the dentist. But as you grew, you found out that dental care is an essential routine for dental hygiene. Now, you’re well-versed in what dentists do. But what about your kids or other children in your family who will go to their dental care appointment?
Children tend to fear strange things, especially when it is their first time. A couple of examples are getting a vaccine and going to the dentist. As an adult, you have to make them understand the benefits of going to the dentist. Whether it is just simple cleaning or advanced canker sore laser treatment, both the parents and the dentist must play each of their roles to create a safe and peaceful dental care visit experience for children.
The Role of the Parents
To make the dental visit experience good for children, parents must communicate well to their children. Here are some tips that parents should keep in mind.
Inform them of the benefits of having healthy teeth and gums
Educate them that healthy teeth and gums has numerous advantage. They can be an asset shortly, plus they will look pretty or handsome as well. Children may consider this as a reward because they will overcome a first time experience.
Be sure to tell them in advance of an upcoming dental visit
Informing them in about two weeks before the visit can help children think or expect what they are going to experience. In most cases, telling your child at the last minute may lead to increased anxiety or fear for dental visits.
Doing this helps your child will not only help your child to overcome their fear of dental visits, but it can also help your child develop the skill to adjust in such situations and transitions in the future.
Answer their questions directly
Children are naturally curious. Answering their question can put their mind at ease and will give assurance to them. Be careful to limit your answer as you might drift to your past experiences with the dentists. Another one, avoid the use of words that can trigger anxiety or fear like pain, shot, hurt, or bleed. The choice of words can affect the thinking of children because they tend to predict things they did not experience yet.
Communicate with the dentist
Another important tip is that you communicate with your medical specialist. Briefing them about phobias and other things concerning your children is of great help to them. They can visualize and formulate the best approach to handling the dental visit. You may also request to accompany your children for their first session. They will be more comfortable knowing you are there observing the procedure.
Be positive and stay calm
Positivity affects other people. As parents, if you exhibit positivity in any situation, there is a big chance your children will adopt a positive attitude. Another thing to consider is you must stay calm. Tantrums, fear, or anxiety are more comfortable to overcome for children if their parents have a gentle and relaxed way of handling this situation. A safer and peaceful atmosphere has a reassuring effect on your child’s mentality.
The Role of the Dentist
The dentist is trained to handle procedures involving children. They have systematic and scientific ways of handling different procedures. There are many child-friendly establishments equipped with advanced technology and top of the line professionals. Here are the roles of the dentist you must know to help you observe the dental appointment of your children.
Has a kind attitude
A dentist who possesses a kind tone of voice is a thumbs up for kids. Usually, kids feel comfortable with people who speak with a friendly and gentle manner. There are times where the dentist talks firmer to kids if they need to and goes back to a kind tone. Do not worry because it is normal, and dentists approach varies from person to person. Overall, this will help your children greatly in having an excellent dental visit experience.
Use of simple terms
The use of technical, medical terms can be painful for the ears of a kid. A dentist who regularly deals with children has a simple way of explaining procedures. There are different approach and techniques that dentist use to describe the session for kids. One of the grand strategies is the use of a doll to demonstrate the procedure the kids will be undergoing.
Another way to make children feel comfortable around dental specialist is to engage them in conversation. Telling stories that interest them diverts their attention from the dental procedure. The friendly atmosphere makes children calm and assured.
Use of praise and compliments
The use of positive reinforcement exhibits great effectiveness for children. This builds trust between the dentist and young patients. A simple gesture of appreciating their courage and calmness while undergoing the procedure makes a huge difference. Although in some cases, the technique does not immediately work. But as several sessions are done, the relationship between the two will nurture making the children relieve their fear eventually.
Alternatives Ways to Alleviate a Child’s Fear from Dental Visits
If you have done all the tips mentioned above and nothing seems to work, these methods can be your last resort for your children’s dental anxiety
Use of Sedative and Anesthesia
If the situation goes out of control, consider the use of safe and effective medication to help your child deal with their anxiety. The use of sedatives applies to both adults and children. In this way, children can remain calm while undergoing the procedure.
Dental practitioners undergo certification with regards to using sedative and anesthesia for their patients’ safety. Typically, conscious sedation is administered to children so that they cope up and still respond to the procedure.
Moreover, don’t forget to use natural remedies to relieve your child’s pain after a dental procedure.
Undergo Therapy Sessions
Another option in dealing with your child’s dental anxiety is therapy. Some dental anxiety cases need professional help for treatment. This method can significantly help children to overcome their fear of dental visits and strengthen their minds in doing other things.
In most cases, a child’s fear of a dental visit can’t be solved overnight. It takes a lot of patience, and a never give up attitude for parents to help and support their kids. It is vital to address dental anxiety to avoid phobia or trauma in the future. Hopefully, this article gave you a heads up on handling your child’s dental visit and help save your child’s smile.