Are you struggling to get your child to the dentist? Whether it’s their first time or they’ve been going for years, fears about the dentist’s chair and what’s going to happen there can make it difficult for children to agree to come along. From your child’s perspective, a trip to the dentist means an unfamiliar person, lots of scary metal tools and maybe even a couple of painful moments. Unfortunately, trips to the dentist are absolutely essential, even when we’re scared. It’s not worth missing a six-month check which could make any problems worse for the next visit – especially when the teeth are first developing.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make trips to the dentist stress-free for you, your child and the dentist.
1. Get Your Child Used to the Dentist Early
Unfamiliarity is a big factor in why children are so unsettled at the dentist. Allow them to get used to the dental chair and the tools we use by bringing them in from a young age. We’re happy to show children the clinic and the tools in a comfortable, friendly environment before they even need dental work.
2. Keep Up with Their Bi-Annual Appointments
Keep your children familiar with the dentist by bringing them in for their bi-annual check-up every six months. The longer you leave between appointments, the more the stress and apprehension can build up (not to mention dental problems).
3. Trust Your Dentist
Helping children feel comfortable about being at the dentist is a part of good bedside manner, and any good dentist will have language and practices that they regularly use to put kids at ease. Trust them to calm your child down, but don’t be shy to step in if your child remains restless.
4. Avoid Talking About Painful Experiences at the Dentist
The way you speak about the dentist helps to shape your child’s perception (and therefore experience) of their visit. If you or someone else in the family has had a bad or painful experience at the dentist, avoid talking about it in front of the children. If it comes up, emphasise the good things that came out of the visit – perhaps that your teeth are pain-free, stronger and healthier than before.
5. Talk to Your Children About Oral Health Every Day
Brushing our teeth is something we just have to do in the morning and before bed, just like visiting the dentist is something we simply have to do every few months. It can help to use language that emphasizes dental care as a normal part of life and not something we do as a special event every now and then.
At Jannali Dental Care, we’re a family dental clinic and we have experience dealing with children of all ages. If your child is due for a bi-annual dental check-up, book them in with our children’s dentist Dr Chen. Call us on (02) 9199 7229 to make a booking today.