Is Your Child Afraid of the Dentist? These 3 Parenting Tips Can Help

pediatric dentistPediatric dentistry is an important part of childhood hygiene. Recently, pediatric dentists have vastly improved their dental sedation practices, as roughly 250,000 pediatric dental sedations are now performed each year. Although tooth decay can be prevalent in children, they never seem to be too excited about going to the dentist, hence the demand for sedation dentistry.

Kids are anxious when it comes to any kind of healthcare, but there is something about getting shots and going to the dentist that especially terrifies them. Despite that, most parents are understandably hesitant to have their child needlessly sedated. That’s why it’s up to parents to do everything in their power to get kids into the dentist chair without them experiencing unnecessary fear. Here are a few tips that might help ease your child’s fear of the dentist office.

Start Taking Them to a Kids Dentist Right Away
You should begin dental visits no later than your child’s first birthday. It’s recommended that you take your kid to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. Doing this will make sure that there isn’t any dental issues present, as well as show your child that whenever anything new happens with their teeth, it’s time to go to the dentist. Familiarizing young children with the dentist is essential to their acceptance of any dental procedure in the future. If they can’t remember their last positive experience with their dentist, they’re going to feel anxious and terrified again.

To make sure your children are as comfortable as possible during these early visits, make sure you find a pediatric dentist who will know how to put them at ease.

Make Brushing Their Teeth Fun
Children resent brushing their teeth so much because they would much rather be doing something fun — like eating cavity-causing candy. If you make the act of brushing fun, however, you will improve your child’s dental hygiene and better prepare them for serious dental work later in life. A good idea is to have a special toothbrush and a special toothpaste that your kid can use that will amuse them. As soon as you think they’re losing interest in brushing because the routine has gotten stale, it’s time to get a fun, new, and whacky toothbrush.

Congratulate Them On Being Brave!
No matter how the visit to the dentist turns out, it’s important that you acknowledge and reward your child for being brave enough to get through yet another trip to their pediatric dentist. Even many adults are terrified of going to the dentist, and it’s no small feat for small children. If they handle it great, great! If they handle it by kicking and crying the entire time, tell them good job and head back to the drawing board before their next appointment.

No matter what, remember that childhood fear of the dentist is totally normal. The most important thing is to be there for your kids when they feel afraid.