Help your child avoid dental fear with these tips from a pediatric dentist in Greensboro, NC
Dental care is important for the healthy development of your child’s teeth, but you may be avoiding a trip to the dentist due to worries that your child will develop a dental fear. Fortunately, dental fear is largely avoidable and there are measures that a dentist can take to alleviate a child’s anxieties. At Triad Pediatric Dentistry in Greensboro, NC, Dr. Sona Isharani is an expert pediatric dentist that is committed to making sure that every one of your child’s dental visits is a positive experience. Here, she provides tips on how to help your child avoid dental fear.
Find a gentle, friendly pediatric dentist
Dental fear is a very common issue, but not everyone needs to develop it. In many cases, dental fear stems from a bad experience at the dentist, so finding an experienced, gentle pediatric dentist that both you and your child trust is important in helping to develop good lifelong habits for taking care of their teeth. At Triad Pediatric Dentistry, children feel relaxed and at home when they are getting their teeth cleaned and examined by our team of professionals. We take extra steps to make sure that your child is comfortable, whether they are in the office for a simple cleaning or a more advanced restorative procedure.
Regularly visit the dentist for check-ups and cleanings
While it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the best ways to help your child avoid fearing the dentist is to start their routine dental care from an early age, and then visit the dentist every six months thereafter for professional cleanings and check-ups.
We recommend that children come into our office for their first dental visit by their first birthday. Parents often ask why their child needs to see the dentist so early, and there are a few reasons why:
- Baby teeth typically start erupting by about six months of age, and as soon as teeth have erupted, dental decay and gum issues can begin to develop
- We can monitor your child’s tooth development to ensure that everything is on track
- We can answer any questions that you have as a parent about how to help keep your child’s mouth healthy, from how to brush their teeth and how often, to questions about when to expect them to develop and lose their baby teeth
- Seeing the dentist from an early age helps your child understand that seeing a dentist is an important part of their health and they become easily accustomed to the sights, sounds, and experience of being at the dentist
Perhaps most importantly, regularly seeing the dentist throughout childhood is one of the most effective ways to prevent dental issues such as decay and gum disease, and if they do occur, they can be treated quickly and effectively. At hygiene visits, Dr. Isharani performs a thorough examination of your child’s mouth to check on the health of their teeth and gums, as well as to check for any signs of developmental issues. When issues are identified in preventive visits, they are much easier to take care of than if the problem is allowed to progress—which means the treatment is generally easier, faster, and more comfortable for your child and therefore provokes less anxiety.
Other tips for avoiding dental fear
There are several other ways you can help your child feel less fearful of visiting the dentist.
- Focus on using positive language when you are talking about the dentist – instead of saying things like “pain,” “hurt,” or “shots,” use positive words to describe what they can expect, such as “healthy” and “clean.” You can also use fun phrases like “sugar bugs” instead of “cavities” or “decay” to describe issues in a light-hearted way instead of making it sound serious.
- If you are visiting a dentist for the first time, set up a meet and greet on a day prior to your child’s actual appointment so that they can see the office and meet the dental team in a non-threatening atmosphere. This can go a long way towards making your child feel more comfortable when it is time to come in for their actual visit.
- Similarly, you can have a pretend dental visit at home where you show your child what the dentist and hygienist will do. For example, you can count your child’s teeth together, use a mirror to examine them, and use a toothbrush to gently clean them.
- Use positive reinforcement, such as a fun visit to the playground after the dental appointment, that they can look forward to.
Schedule your child’s appointment today!
At Triad Pediatric Dentistry, children feel like they are at home from the moment they walk in the door. With our warm, inviting atmosphere and friendly staff, your kids will be excited about visiting the dentist! Our office is conveniently located in Greensboro, NC and can be reached at (336) 804-8668.