Tips for Teaching Your Child About the Dentist‍

We understand that going to the dentist might not be among most people’s favorite activities. This can be especially true for a parent bringing their child to be seen by a dentist. However, a visit to the pediatric dentist doesn’t need to be stressful, and we at Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry strive to create a positive experience for each of our families. 

Children can often be very receptive to the discussion and reactions of people around them. This is why being mindful of what’s being said around them can  help to nurture a more positive association with the dentist. 

Read on in this blog from Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry to learn about the different ways you can help your child prepare for their first dental visit without any fear or stress.

Choose a Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentists specifically cater to children and are experts in children’s oral health. They undergo additional years of education and training to better understand child psychology, development, and communication. You therefore will observe a more specialized approach to dental treatment and an environment designed with your child in mind when you visit our office.

Our staff will be very positive and compassionate, and will take the time to explain things to your child. We can even offer tours of the office before your child’s first appointment so they can become familiar with the environment before their dental visit. This may help your child lower their dental anxiety, feel more comfortable, and to gain trust. 

We frequently use the tell-show-do method in pediatric dentistry to help your child better understand what is happening in order to reduce their fear or stress. This enables us to explain and demonstrate to them in a child-friendly manner what we are doing and reassures them that we are trying to keep their teeth healthy and clean. We are specially trained in managing dental anxiety and helping patients with special needs

We can offer dental sedation to put your child at ease during their appointment. If your child has sensory issues or other sensitivities, we can also adjust the environment around them to fit their needs. Whichever approach to care is selected, we will ensure that your child feels heard, understands what is going on, and is made to feel as comfortable as possible during each dental appointment.

Talk to Them About the Dentist Positively

Many adults suffer from dental anxiety that is often carried over to adulthood from poor childhood dental experiences. Children are very intuitive and can easily pick up on other people’s intonation, language, and nonverbal body cues. If you suffer from dental anxiety yourself, it’s important to try painting dental visits in a more positive light in order to avoid imprinting on your child a negative connotation of the dentist.

For example, avoid using scary words like “needles” or “pain” around your child. We prefer utilizing other ways to explain the experiences to a pediatric patient, such as putting “sleepy juice” on a tooth, rather than getting a “needle” or a “shot.” Instead of experiencing “pain,” the patient might feel a little “mosquito bite” or “finger nail” next to their tooth during local anesthesia.

Before dental appointments, talk about how fun it’s going to be and get them excited by telling them they’re going to count all of their teeth to find out how many they have. You can get them acquainted with dentistry by reading them books about going to the dentist and performing a checkup on their favorite stuffed animal which they can then bring with them to their appointment.

Make At-Home Care Fun

Dental hygiene does not need to be so boring! There are plenty of ways to make your child’s oral hygiene routine more engaging and fun. Let them choose their own toothbrush. Your child will enjoy brushing more if they can use something with their favorite character or color. 

Likewise, lots of toothpaste come in fun colors or special flavors. To ensure that your child is brushing for 2 to 3 minutes, you can get them a toothbrush that comes with a timer that beeps when the 2 minutes is up or you can set a separate timer. 

If it helps distract your child or make them less bored, you can play a video for your child while they brush and floss to keep them entertained. Instead of using a timer, you can use a certain video or song length that will help your child know that they’ve brushed long enough.

Schedule Your Child’s Next Preventative Appointment At Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry!

Prevention is the best tool we have to maintain your child’s oral health and prevent serious problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Contact us at Mission Peak Pediatric Dentistry to schedule a dental cleaning and checkup with Dr. Michael Wang

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