Fear of the dentist starts at a very young age. In fact, by the age of two studies show that kids are already fearful of dentists, doctors, and other medical professionals. While some of this fear can come from traumatic experiences (such as preventive vaccines at their yearly well-checks), a lot of anxiety is instilled in them before they have any personal experiences. Much of our children’s attitudes toward the dentist come from how we, as parents, talk about it. In order to help kids conquer the fear, we have to adjust how we depict these appointments at home.
The ‘Dentist Experience’ Has Changed
Our kids are always listening to us. As we reminisce about our own, possibly scary, pediatric dental appointments, our children are wondering if the same traumatizing experience awaits them. While you may have suffered from a painful dental procedure, technology and techniques have advanced immensely, even in the last decade. What may have been painful when you were young, does not have to be for your child. If you have concerns about how a pediatric dentist performs certain procedures, such as cavity fills, please make your concerns known to the dentist. This will help eliminate past trauma from coming up at home and help you talk to your child before their appointment to alleviate fear.
Trust the Provider
The best way to help your child overcome dental fear is to bring them to a dental provider that you, and your child, trust. If you do not already have a pediatric dentist, doing a quick search on the internet will help bring the best ones to the top. Check Google reviews, ask in a Facebook classifieds group, or peruse different dentist websites to find the best recommendations. Once you narrow down a list to two or three offices, look around their website and see what services they offer. At Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry, we welcome conversations with parents to help address any concerns they may have. After all, you are putting the health of your child in our hands. We want to make sure you feel good and confident about your decision!
Many offices offer comfort items to help support the ‘dental-phobic’ patients. If your child needs to bring a favorite blanket, a stuffed animal, headphones with their favorite music – we absolutely support that! If you are not one of our patients, we hope you find a dentist that will allow these things as well.
Our office also offers other supportive measures, including sedation options.
Reward the Brave
We recognize that having a stranger look and feel around inside of your mouth is not always the most relaxing experience. While we do our best to make this as comfortable as possible, we also want to reward all our super brave patients with a prize at the end. Yes, even if a few tears were shed in the process. As a parent or caregiver, we encourage rewards and words of praise to help support, encourage, and comfort your child after dental appointments. This will help when bringing them back to the dentist in the future!
We recommend bringing your child from 0-19 years old to the dentist at least twice per year for annual cleanings and exams. These preventive appointments are quick and allow the dentist to spot anything that may become a problem in the future. A preventive appointment is also much less traumatic than a cavity-fill appointment. New patients can also schedule their first exam and cleaning for just $79. Our amazing and supportive staff at Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry is excited to care about your child’s oral health. Schedule an appointment today!