Help a Child Smile: How to Prepare for Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Psychological training is certainly necessary. How to implement it? The main task of the parents is not to alarm the child but to reassure him or her before visiting the dental clinic.
Two main tips
- If the child has tooth ache: convince him or her that the dentist will help – the pain will become less or completely disappear;
- If there is no pain and the first visit to the dentist is ahead: you should not tell your child “do not be afraid”, “it will not be scary”, “it does not hurt”. He or she does not yet know that he or she must be afraid of something. It is better to show the positive results of a visit to the doctor, taking into account age.
You can say to small children: “You need to feed your teeth with porridge (jam) so that they do not hurt and grow faster.” For older children, such an argument is suitable: “Go to the dentist – the teeth will be healthy and beautiful.”
Some general tips
- When going to the dentist, do not focus on this. Do not emphasize the importance, exclusivity, and especially the unpleasantness of the event. A visit to the doctor should be taken for granted;
- Do not say that the doctor will not do anything at all. This is not true, and then the child will understand that he or she was deceived. Say that the doctor will look and brush his or her teeth, cure if they hurt;
- Do not use words like “scary”, “drill”, “injection”, etc.;
- You can rehearse a visit to a dentist. Tell the child how to enter the office, sit in a chair, open the mouth and keep it open. Do every action with the child, take on the role of a dentist.
Preparing for the visit
- Do not schedule a visit to the dentist during hours when the child is usually sleeping (early morning, quiet hour) or tired (late evening);
- The child should not be hungry during a visit to the dentist;
- Bring a second pair of shoes with you if your child does not want to wear shoe covers;
- If the child is languishing and nervous before a visit, come to the clinic 10 minutes before an appointment, not earlier.
If the child is small and hardly understands why you want to take him or her to the dentist, it is better to act according to this scheme:
- Say that you will go together to the good doctor who treats the teeth. All the kids go to this doctor because he (or she) loves and treats them. He (or she) makes all the boys and girls cheerful and healthy;
- Explain what a good doctor will do: “He (or she) will look at your teeth to find out how they grow”;
- Give a couple of “strong” arguments: “When dad and mom were small, they also went to the doctor who looks at the teeth.” Or: “This doctor had …” (name the fact known to you – the eldest child in the family, the neighbor’s baby, etc.);
- Emphasize that you will always be nearby in the doctor’s office.
If the child is older and understands his or her dental problems, proceed as follows:
- Tell us why it is important to have healthy teeth;
- If a son or daughter says that he or she is afraid of the dentist, sincerely be surprised: “Why should you be afraid of the doctor? He (or she) helps us get rid of troubles, advises, heals, takes care of our health”;
- If you yourself have ever expressed fears before a visit to the dentist or shared unpleasant memories – admit the fallacy of your position: “I was also scared, but it turned out differently — attentive doctors, painless treatment. The main thing is to set yourself up positively”;
- Finally, show your readiness to support the child: “We go for a consultation together. I will be present in the office during your conversation with the doctor.”
And what if the child is very afraid of a dentist?
Most doctors are real professionals. They love children. They strive to find an approach to every child. If the doctor, psychologist and parents (relatives) help the child together, the treatment usually goes well.
Dentists have everything they need (up to general anesthesia) to carry out planned treatment in special circumstances, for example:
- if the child is very afraid;
- if there is a large volume of treatment ahead and the child is small;
- if the child has an increased vomiting reflex or there are other medical indications.
Category: Health and Wellness
Tags: children, children health, Dentist, teeth, teeth health