Tips to Help Your Kids Feel More Comfortable at the Dentist

Regular dental check-ups play an important role in maintaining excellent oral health. These healthy habits should be taught from an early age, but what if your little one becomes nervous or anxious prior to their appointment? Browse through our list of tips below to learn how you can help your children feel more comfortable at the dentist.

1. Begin at a Young Age

Most dentists recommend that children first see a dentist around the age of one, or whenever their first tooth becomes visible. Children who begin receiving regular check-ups from an early age are more comfortable at the dentist, and are much more likely to take care of their teeth and resume healthy oral habits throughout the course of their life.

2. Stay Positive and Keep it Simple

When preparing for an upcoming dental appointment, do not offer your child too many details, such as whether or not an extra treatment (as in a filling) will be required. Stay positive and help your child focus on the benefits of their visit. If a filling or the use of numbing medication is likely, do not provide your child with false hope by lying and saying that everything will be okay, and there will be no pain. When you do this, you break the bond of trust between you and your child, as well as between your child and the dentist.

3. Role Play Prior to First Appointment

For new patients, especially young children, it may be helpful to first act out what will happen at the dentist through pretend play. You pretend to be the dentist, and walk your child (the patient) through each step of the appointment. Knowing what to expect helps many children to feel less anxious in the days and hours leading to their check-up.

Role play could include:

4. Educate Your Child on the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

  • Counting your child’s teeth with a toothbrush, beginning with No. 1 or the letter A.
  • Hold up a mirror and show him/her how the dentist might inspect their teeth.
  • Avoid talk of drilling, shots, or pain. Let the dentist introduce these words with their own choice of vocabulary.

One of the most practical ways to ease your child’s fears or anxieties is to explain in simple terms the importance of good oral hygiene and the long-term effect it can have on their health. Teach your child that regular dental visits are necessary, and that the dentist will help take care of his/her teeth so that they can eat. It may also be helpful to explain that dentists help us to prevent cavities and to guarantee we keep our beautiful smiles in the future. Many children will feel more confident about going to the best local dentist clear lake tx once they realize the dentist is there to help them.