A lot of adults feel anxiety and experience extreme nervousness when faced with an upcoming dentist appointment. In most cases, there isn’t a reason to feel so uncomfortable about going to the dentist. Most dentist appointments are painless and serve the purpose of a routine checkup. However, the fact still remains that many adults dread going to the dentist. The reason? Most adults associate going to the dentist with a painful memory. It’s probable that the very first time they went to the dentist as a child was because something was wrong; therefore, they probably experienced some pain on that visit, and never want to go back.
How to keep your child from fearing the dentist
Wouldn’t your life be so much easier if your child didn’t resist and complain anytime you tried to take them to any sort of healthcare appointment? Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a struggle between you and your child. This is one reason why we recommend having your child’s first dentist appointment be when they’re one year old. Yes, they may not have very many teeth yet. But in addition to maintaining their oral health, you’re also setting up a healthy habit for them. Going to the dentist will become something they enjoy doing, because they won’t ever remember a time where they didn’t go to the dentist. Starting at a young age also prevents them from needing painful dentist visits in the future.
How to prepare your child for their first dentist visit
If your child is only about a year old, it’s unlikely that they’ll feel nervous about their first trip to the dentist. If they’re older than two years, they may experience some jitters about their first checkup. No matter how old your child is, there are a few things you can do to calm their fears and prepare them for their first checkup.
Take your child with you to your next checkup. This will give them an idea of what will happen, and will also help them feel more secure because they see it’s something that you’re doing as well, and that you weren’t afraid.
Explain everything to your child. Even if they’re only a year old. Explain why we go to the dentist and the types of procedures that will take place during their routine checkup. It’s a great idea to read some children’s books about dentistry with your child as well. If you don’t feel like you have an answer to one of your child’s questions, feel free to call anyone at Timp Dental for advice and answers if you’re unable to find the answer on our website.
Play dentist with your child. Take turns looking into each other’s mouths and gently feeling each other’s teeth. This will prepare your child to have someone else examining their mouth.
Plan plenty of time for your dentist visit. If it’s a rushed visit, your child will be able to pick up on the stress that you’re feeling. By having a time buffer both before and after the appointment, you’ll avoid unwanted stress for both you and your child.