How to Prepare your Child for a Dentist Visit
Seeing children crying and throwing tantrums is a common scenario at a dentist office. It is like a collective sense of gloom among the children takes on the entire wait hall before seeing the dentist. For some parents it may be an extremely difficult situation because either they don’t know how to handle the situation or their child simply does not listen to them at all. While it is true that each child has a unique personality and temper to deal with, there are some guidelines that professional pediatric dentists recommend for preparing children adequately before seeing the dentist. For parents who have put into practice these guidelines, it has been proven that what once was an unpleasant activity for them and their children has become a pleasant one.
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The younger, the better
Humans are creatures of habit. Although there are some things in life that can be pleasant the first time, there are many others that are not. Going to the dentist is one of the latter. After all, it is a journey to the unknown for most children. However, parents can avoid this situation by starting to take their children to the dentist from an early age. When a child goes regularly to the dentist since she or he is a toddler, it will become a habit, an activity that the child will see as a normal errand, like going to get groceries with her or his parents. And, more importantly, she or he will become aware of her or his own personal dental health.
Communication Is Key
Often, before going to the dentist, parents talk to their children in order to give them an idea of what is going to happen. Professionals advise to limit the content of these talks and limit the amount of information parents give to their children. This is mainly because, since they are not professionals in the area, parents may mislead the child and generate fear without wanting to. In this sense, the information should be limited and, once they go to the dentist, she or he will know how to communicate effectively to the children the situation. Needless to say, it is also necessary that parents don’t talk to their children about their own bad experiences or use words that have a negative connotation. Children are firm believers of what their parents say.
Perhaps the most effective approach to get children to lose their fear to their dentist is to create awareness in them of how important dental care is. If a child truly knows and understands what effects dental care is going to have on her or his life, she or he would definitely be more open to visiting the dentist. It is true than getting a child to understand this can be not too easy, but as in everything, it is a process. Instead of promising instant rewards, which by the way is not recommended, parents must let their children know that the biggest reward will be the positive impact that dental care will have on their lives.