According to the American Dental Hygienist Association (ADHA)This link opens a new tab to the ADHA website, between 50 and 80 percent of American adults have dental anxiety, some mild, some more severe. Some people even have an actual dental phobia.
Did you know some of that angst stems from a bad childhood experience?
A child’s experiences at the dentist can have a lasting effect, possibly leading to a lack of dental care needed.
This can contribute to several problems once they become adults, such as cavities and gum disease.
We have some tips on what you can do to help create a positive dental experience for your child every time they need a visit.
Specialized training in pediatric dentistry
Fortunately, you can start your little one’s journey to good oral health at The Kidd’s PlaceThis link leads to Home page, known for creating positive dental experiences for children.
We specialize in pediatric dentistry and know what to do and say to help keep your child calm and safe at the dentist!
Our dentist and team have extensive experience working with children of all ages, understand their development, and strive to keep them comfortable.
Our practice’s staff stays current on the latest, has developed ways of caring for children, and knows how to remain calm no matter how stressed a child is.
What You Can Do
Besides looking for the right dental practice, you can take steps to make their dental appointment a positive one, whether it’s their first or 10th visit.
For one, consistency is key. Start by intentionally creating good memories at the dentist.
Some specific ways to accomplish this include the following:
Carefully Schedule Their First Appointment
As a parent, you have a lot to juggle with your child, including your work and their extracurriculars, social activities, and school.
Balancing it all is not easy, but consider your child’s schedule, not just yours, when making that dental appointment.
For instance, let’s say you eat lunch every day at one o’clock.
Don’t make the appointment for 1:00 p.m. Instead, make it for after your child eats to ensure they’re comfortable. The same applies to naptime.
While it can be hard to find time for everything, schedule around your child’s activities, like ballet or soccer. If your child misses something they enjoy for an appointment, they’ll resent visiting the dentist.
Bring comfort items
Does your child have a favorite stuffed dog?
Maybe they carry around a blankie everywhere they go.
These items are comfortable at home and possibly when they go out.
They can also help them feel safe and comforted in the dental chair.
Use encouraging words
When you say something negative about the dentist, your child will pick up on it.
You also don’t want to talk about the potential for pain or sharp tools.
Alternatively, use positive words and phrases like “You’re going to get your teeth cleaned. They’re going to be so shiny. And you might get a reward after.”
If you aren’t sure of what to say or how to answer your child’s questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our children’s dentistryThis link leads to Children’s dentistry page experts. We know just what to say.
Prepare your child for a lifetime of positive oral health
When you help make each visit a positive dental experience for children, you can start their path to good oral health out the right way.
Your child will be less likely to suffer from dental anxiety as an adult.
If you’d like to see the difference we make in a child’s dental experience, call or message us today.
And don’t forget, we offer children’s sedation dentistryThis link leads to Sedation dentistry page to ease anxiety and make procedures more comfortable!
Call us at: 509-252-4746
Our hometown patients of Spokane make us smile, but we also love seeing smiles from Town and Country, Country Homes, Dishman, Millwood, Fairwood, Airway Heights, Mead, and Opportunity, WA!