As a parent, taking your child to the dentist is an important yet daunting tasks. From having to sit still for a certain amount of time to cooperating with the instructions of the dentists, children can often have a hard time at the dentist. We’ve compiled our six best tips for making your child’s trips to the dentist an easy and painless experience, for you and them!
- Start taking your child to the dentist at an early age.
The earlier you can start a healthy and positive relationship between your child and the dentist, the more success you will have in the long run. The standard recommendation is to take you child to their first dentist visit by the time of their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth. By starting with regular cleanings and checkups, your child will be more comfortable if and when a cavity or larger dental issue arises. In fact, the routine cleanings and checkups may lessen any future dental issues by establishing good dental hygiene habits early on.
- Let your child meet their dentist before their first appointment.
Dr. Dallin Snow and our hygienists are more than happy to meet your child before their first visit to help ease any anxiety they may be feeling. We’ll give them a tour of the office and introduce them to the hygienist who will be doing their cleaning. This can help alleviate any fear your child may have about going to a new place and having a brand-new experience.
- Stay by your child’s side, but let the dentist do most of the talking.
Depending on the age of your child, it may be helpful to have them sit on your lap while they are getting their teeth cleaned so they feel more comfortable. This can also help for particularly squirmy children who are unable to sit still for longer periods of time. As they get older, this can change to hand holding or simply sitting nearby in the office. But make sure to let your child and the dentist have the conversations. This will allow your child to establish a relationship with their dentist and feel more comfortable at future visits.
- Schedule appointments with the same hygienist.
The less new people your child is introduced to during their dental experience, often the better. A lot of these tips involve strategies for making your child more comfortable and a familiar face can help with that comfortability. While it may take a few trips to the dentist for your child to find a favorite hygienist, don’t be afraid to request appointments with that same person every time to help things go smoothly.
- Lead by example.
You have the ability to show your children what a good dentist appointment experience looks like. If you are stressed about going to the dentist, your child is going to pick up on that. By staying calm and remaining positive yourself, your child will be more likely to stay calm and positive. Additionally, encourage good dental habits at home to keep your child’s mouth healthy to lessen the possibility of cavities and poor dental visits in the future.
- Visit the dentist often!
One of the main causes for dental anxiety in children (and adults) is too much time between visits. The baseline recommendation is to visit the dentist for a cleaning and checkups every six months. Make sure to practice good habits with your child between visits and remind them that these habits help visits go smoothly.
At Snow Family Dentistry, we strive to make all of our patients comfortable in their dental appointments and experiences. We will work hard to put you and your child at ease and accommodate you in any way we can. Please call us at (480) 331-1930 to schedule an appointment today!