Children with special needs often require extra care from the pediatric dentist to help ensure they feel comfortable and have oral health concerns that are more specific to them properly diagnosed and treated. Understanding how pediatric dentists can help children through special needs dental care and how to choose the right provider is beneficial for…
Tips from a Kids Dentist To Address Your Child’s Dental Fears
A kids dentist provides a level of care and expertise that focuses solely on children’s unique dental needs. Something pediatric dentists understand is the fear children may have in visiting the dental office. These fears may have to do with the newness of the environment, the equipment and the process. While kids may remember seeing a medical doctor, they may not remember a first dental visit. Therefore, returning at an older age may require some coaxing and calming.
Choosing a pediatric dentist
Pediatric dentists are well-versed in handling all aspects of caring for a child’s dental needs, including the fear that can be provoked by the visit. While all dentists go through the same basic dental school requirements, those seeking to practice a specialty such as pediatric dentistry go through additional training and certification. Part of this training is dealing with common kid-related dental issues.
Tips from a kids dentist on calming fears
Kids are afraid of the unknown, and something as big as a dentist’s office can be overwhelming. Anxiousness does not make for a productive visit, and it is up to parents and dentists to work together to ease the discomfort and anxiety kids may feel visiting the dentist. Check into implementing some of these tips to help make the visit productive.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that parents take children to the dentist when the first baby tooth pokes through the gums. Taking a baby to the dentist may not seem to make sense; however, this first visit sets the tone for the future. After this first visit, you may not have to go back for a while. Whatever schedule the dentist recommends for repeat appointments, stick to it. This can help children get accustomed to the provider faster.
Explain what happens in an age-appropriate way
Kids may develop fears at any time. If a child starts to express discontent about visiting a kids dentist, the best piece of advice is to remain calm. Keep an upbeat tone of voice and explain what happens at the visit. Use terms kids understand and always stay positive. Do not bring up anything that may be interpreted as bad or scary.
Emphasize how helpful a dentist is
Children understand that some adults provide useful services. They may initially be afraid of police officers or firefighters, but understanding the help these professionals offer can calm those fears. The same goes for the dentist.
Keep the interactions light and friendly
A parent can clue the dentist’s office into the fact that a child is afraid. This puts the staff on notice that extra care is needed. Unless there is a dental emergency to deal with, the dentist and staff should not force a child to undergo anything they are not comfortable with doing.
A kids dentist understands how important a child’s experience with dental treatment is for establishing healthy oral hygiene practices. Consider some of these tips when it comes to getting an anxious child ready to climb into the dentist’s chair.
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