Most people are familiar with dental anxiety, but have you ever thought about where the fear of the dentist stems from? For many, a fear of the dentist can begin in childhood, as children might be unsure of the procedures, sights, and sounds of a dentist’s office. If your child suffers from a fear of visiting the dentist, check out these three tips to help ease their experience, now and in the future.
Start Scheduling Appointments Early
Early exposure to the dentist is key to helping prevent severe anxiety around visiting the dentist. By taking your child to the dentist as a young child, and as a preventive dental visit, they become comfortable and familiar with seemingly scary equipment and having someone poke around in their mouth. Early dental visits also help children become more comfortable in the event of a dental emergency; emergency dental visits will be a breeze when your child has already built trust with his or her dentist.
Communicate, but Keep It Simple
Your child’s first dental visit will likely be extremely simple and completely pain-free. Moreover, it may not be as scary if they know what to expect ahead of time. Try explaining what happens at the dentist, but keep it as simple as possible. Telling your child about his or her dental appointment in advance, including reminders right before the appointment, will give them time to mentally process what to expect at a dental visit. Again, when it comes to detailing a child’s dental visit, keep the details simple: tell them what the room looks like, where and how they’ll be sitting, what the dental hygienist or dentist will wear on their faces, why they’ll be working in your mouth, and, briefly, how they’ll use their tools to clean your teeth. Tell them in a calm, normal, or happy manner, and avoid any topics that could lead to complicated, scary explanations — like cavities and fillings — unless absolutely necessary.
Utilize Family Dentists
Family dentistry offices are wonderful because they cater to the entire family, no matter your age. Based on your child’s individual needs, a general dentist can refer you to a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist understands that a dentist’s office might be intimidating or scary for a child, so they work to combat that. Not to mention, pediatric dentists have two to three years of specialized training following dental school to prepare them for working with children. By visiting a dentist who is trained to work with a child’s worldview, you help lay a positive framework for dental visits throughout the rest of their life.
Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Nashville, TN
Cornerstone Family Dentistry is prepared to serve the entire Nashville community, no matter your age or background. Our bilingual dental staff is equipped with extensive knowledge and experience, but we also put customer service and comfort above all. Visit our website today to learn more about our dental services or contact us today to schedule your family or child’s teeth cleaning today.