How to prepare for your child’s visit to the dentist at Billericay Dental Care
We all know that when it comes to being fearful or anxious the likelihood is that it has developed as a response to a past experience. Fear and anxiety are natural human responses that keep us safe and alive., however they can become irrational and uncontrollable.
It is for this very reason we believe strongly that you and your child should have a calm, enjoyable and relaxing visit to the dentist. T
his is to prevent uncontrollable anxiety developing around a dental visit. The risk of getting this experience wrong can lead to the avoidance of healthcare, poor dental health education and the inability to get a problems rectified at an early stage.
A visit to the dentist is as much a parents responsibility as it is the dentists. We are sure that when oral hygiene is taking place at home in a fun and enjoyable surrounding this can be translated to when the child visits the dentist. Focusing on key messages such as duration and timing of brushing, method of brushing blended together with experimental ideas like using flavoured toothpaste, textured brushes and utilising electric toothbrushes for over 3 year olds.
Here are some tips to encourage your child to become relaxed about their first visits:
Start them young:
The earlier your child visits the dentist, the better. This will provide them with the ‘dental experience’ early on, to reassure them there Is nothing to fear. The best time for the child to start to visit the dentist is around 1 years old or when their first tooth is visible.
Keep it simple:
When preparing for your visit, especially for the first time, try not to include so many details, doing so will raise so many more questions, and adding more details may create some anxiety.
Keep a positive attitude when discussing an upcoming appointment, but don’t give too much false hope with saying things like ‘ everything will be fine, you wont need any treatment because if your child ends up needing treatment, they may loose trust in both you AND the dentist.
Use ideas such as the dentist wants to count the number of teeth you have in your mouth.
Think of your words:
Try to avoid using words like Injections, Pain, Drills, or anything alarming. Before your visit our staff will introduce their own vocabulary to children to get them through their visits.
You could try to let your child know the dentist is on the look out for ‘sugar bugs’ so we can clean them from their teeth, or that we want to check their smile is big and shiny enough, or that we would like to count their teeth with them.
-Prepare for some fussing:
It is completely normal and age appropriate for a young child to cry, whine, wiggle and not want to be examined by a stranger. As the parent you should try to stay calm and remember that we are used to working with young children and have seen many anxious and active children that do not want to sit in the dental chair. As dental professionals let us guide you to cuddle your little ones or let them sit in your lap in order to offer them some reassurance.
Emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene:
Teach your child that visiting the dentist is a necessity not a choice and that we will take care of their teeth so that they remain strong enough throughout their life.
It is important for both your child and yourself that their visit is a friendly one. So even if we haven’t got an opportunity to look in their mouth. Your child has visited the sounds and smells of a dental surgery without being forced or restrained into an examination. The next time they visit you will find they are more accommodating.
This will cause you less stress each time you bring your child for a visit. The dentist will speak to your child in a friendly voice, they may use a doll to show the child how they will examine them, they may choose conversation to distract them, and we will always praise & reward them with positive feedback once the appointment Is over & I’m also sure a sticker would not go a miss.
Another way of curbing a child’s fear is to let them attend an appointment of your own. They take subtle ques from parents and so it is vital to keep your body language open and relaxed.
Once a child sees that there is nothing to fear and that mummy or daddy are happy to attend, any fears they have will subside. You are their role model and their teacher. Your child will take into account how relaxed you are during your examination & react in the same way (hopefully)
Here is a wonderful link on how to care for your little ones baby teeth:
So, What happens when your child comes to the dentist for the first time?
Ideally we would like to see your child for their first visitation around the age of 1, when the first tooth is through, Many we know choose to come later, and so our main objective during your visit with a young one is to evaluate the overall health and oral hygiene of the child’s mouth.
-To evaluate the risk of tooth decay, root decay and gum or bone disease.
-To check your bite and jaw for any problems
-To clean or remove any stains or deposits on your teeth
-To offer advice about good oral health and what you can expect from your child’s teeth
Why Is it so important to bring my child to the dentist?
The importance of a dental appointment is for the essential maintenance of healthy teeth, The younger your child is in a routine of great oral hygiene the less risk they will incur later in life. We advise that in-between these examinations it is important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. We will advise many ways to do so.
Our dentists here at Billericay dental care, have the upmost affection for your young ones, we want to make the experience, fun , light hearted and pleasurable, but mostly we want to make it a fearless one.
You can click here to meet our team : https://www.billericaydentalcare.co.uk/team
Our aim is to make your child want to attend their dentist appointments & feel at ease with their dentist.
Teeth are a very important asset in our daily lives and our job is to give you the best advice and care we can.
We have plenty of advice and would be happy to answer any of your questions you may have .
Please remember that your child’s NHS dentist appointment is FREE. There is no charge for your children’s dental appointments
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