Many parents worry how their children will react to the dentist. However, what most parents don’t realize is that their own behavior often influences how their children respond to the dentist. If you become anxious or fearful when discussing the dentist, so will your child. That’s why being aware of your words and actions is so important when establishing your child’s relationship with her dentist. The following tips can help you implement positive dentist associations that your child will take into adulthood:
Introduce Your Child to the Dentist Early
It’s natural for your child to be wary of a new person or place, which is why experts recommend that you take your child to the dentist at a young age. Most children’s dentistry specialists advise making a first appointment for the dentist when your child turns one year old. From that point forward, you should keep up with all subsequent visits as recommended by your dentist. The earlier your child becomes familiarized with her dentist, the less fearful she will be of him.
Use Positive Language When Discussing the Dentist
Children understand language in a much simpler way than adults. If you tell your child that she has nothing to fear when going to the dentist, she likely will only hear the word “fear.” If you say that going to the dentist isn’t scary, all they will pick up is the word “scary.” Because they have no other basis on which to judge the dentist, children will automatically assume a dentist is a scary person to fear. So be sure to use only positive terms when explaining your child’s visit.
Keep Your Dental Visit Explanations Short
Though you should not necessarily surprise your child with a trip to the dentist, experts caution that less information is better than more. Instead of trying to explain what will happen during your child’s checkup, leave it to the dentist to describe checkup details and procedures.
Padden Dental offers a comfortable atmosphere for our children patients. Call us today at (360) 213-1999 to make an appointment for your child.