Posted on: 22 April 2022Share
Data reveals Australian children aged between 5 and 10 have an average of 1.5 missing, decayed or filled primary teeth. With this in mind, you've done the responsible thing and scheduled a visit to the family dentist for your child. Unfortunately, your little one isn't quite as excited as you. You shouldn't cancel this all-important appointment, so here are some ways to ease his or her dental anxiety.
Choose A Dentist That Specialises In Dealing With Children
While you're probably happy with your regular dentist, keep in mind that adult offices can feel sterile and intimidating to young children who may already be anxious at the idea of a dental visit. Children's dentists have kid-friendly clinics, which will be more appealing to your kids. This may include some toys and activities, to keep your kids occupied and happy. Show your child pictures of the dental office before the visit so they feel a little more comfortable and are excited at the idea of having a bit of fun there. Knowing what to expect can make your child a little less nervous.
Avoid Using Negative Words Where Possible
While you want to prepare your child for the appointment, consider your words wisely and avoid using anything with a negative connotation. Some examples include — pain, hurt, braces and needles. A children's dentist is better poised to help kids by using softer language. If possible, try to explain to your child how the dentist will help make his teeth stronger and healthier, so that it sounds like a more positive experience rather than a scary one. Also, try to keep the explanations as simple and brief as possible — leave the details to the professionals who are trained to handle nervous children.
Avoid Making Decisions For Your Child
One good way to help your child feel less anxious is to allow them to control the visit. For example, let them talk to the dentist without you interrupting. Another good way to reduce anxiety is to allow them to make decisions instead of you choosing. For example, let your child choose toothpaste flavours, music or television during the visit and clothes they want to wear. This can make the whole experience less overwhelming and more constructive. Plus, it will be so much easier to convince your child to visit the dentist again when needed.
A visit to a family dentist is important to maintain your child's oral health. Use these ideas to make it easier for both you and your child.