Children’s dentists are often hard to come by, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t dentists who specialize in children’s care, or a wichita pediatric dentist with a particular personality who will help soothe those fears. A natural pediatric dentist has a way of working with children of any age to help them understand that having dental check ups is a necessary part of life and that there is nothing to be afraid of.
Why is my child afraid to go to the dentist?
Children often fear going to the dentist, either because they have had negative experiences with a dentist in the past, or because they have a friend who has had a negative experience.
If a child has had a dentist who wasn’t the most gentle, or who didn’t have the personality to best serve a child, things could get pretty messy for everyone involved. Those types of fears are harder to solve, but tend to be more rewarding.
It is also important to remember that these fears can be embarrassing for your children, but they don’t need to be: according to a recent study, nearly 12% of children are afraid of going to the dentist for the first time, but 60% of first-time patients walk away happy.
How do you stop those fears?
At Cambridge Family Dentistry , we have found that talk is one of the best ways to relieve fears within our youngest patients. Oftentimes a person who doesn’t have the skills or know-how will just try to rush through the procedure, thinking that the faster he goes, the sooner it will all be over. However, we like to take our time and explain exactly what it is that we are doing: whether that be simply examining the teeth or taking x-rays. We also take the time to know your child, to ask how school is going, what sports he likes, or what instrument she plays.
Will those fears stop?
Yes, we have found that many children are not nearly as afraid of the dentist as they were the first time they came. We believe that it comes with familiarity, the knowledge that they have taken care of their teeth, and an overall better outlook of the appointment and what will happen once they sit in the chair.
The figure below shows why finding the right wichita pediatric dentist is important
*all information obtained from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
What is the parent’s role in preventing a child’s fear of the dentist?
- Find a wichita pediatric dentist who will work with you and your child to get the most thorough exams and procedures possible.
- Explain what happens at the dental office, but limit how much detail you give. You should answer any questions with simple, easy to understand responses. Remember that our dentists here at Cambridge Family Dentistry can help with any questions you cannot answer. We are trained to help children understand what is going on and know how to explain longer procedures (like tooth extraction or fillings) in a nonthreatening way.
- Try to avoid using words that your child will remember – words like “hurt,” “shot,” “pointy,” “blood,” “painful,” or “cavity.”
- Do not tell your child about any unpleasant experiences that you have had at the dentist, especially when trying to teach about proper oral health.
- Make sure your child understands how important it is to maintain healthy teeth and gums and that the dentist is a friendly doctor whose job it is to help do this.
Don’t promise a reward for going to a wichita pediatric dentist or for properly taking care of their teeth.
Other tips for easing your child’s dentist fears
- Start your child young. The best bet for eliminating or stopping the fear of a wichita pediatric dentist is to get your child to the office ASAP. We recommend that you start your child as young as when his or her first tooth starts to appear.
- Consider playing pretend for a few weeks beforehand. Here at Cambridge Family Dentistry, we definitely recommend playing dentist with your child at least a few times before you come into our offices. Start from the first seconds you normally get into the office: practice sitting in the waiting room, walking back to the chair, getting an exam, taking x-rays, and getting a tooth cleaning. Allow your child to hold a mirror throughout the play exam so that he or she can see what is happening.
- Prepare yourself for some tears. The reality is that we expect your child to be a little afraid of everything he or she will see walking into the office. Try to prepare yourself for some tears by remaining calm if they happen or bringing your child’s comfort object (if it isn’t too big). If one parent also isn’t a fan of dentists, considering bringing the one that is more comfortable.
- “Introduce” your child to his or her wichita pediatric dentist. One of the best tips we have here at Cambridge Family Dentistry is to show your child a picture of the dentist he or she will see when she visits us. We have a Meet the Doctors Page that has pictures of each of our dentists. While your child won’t be able to talk to us, they will at least become acquainted with who we are and what we do, which will allow them to feel more comfortable walking into the office.
- Let us know it is the first time. When you call to make a dental appointment for your child, make sure you let us know. If your child is really nervous, we might even be able to schedule in another five or ten minutes so that we can talk to your child before he or she even gets into the chair.
No matter what, children’s dentistry is not an exact science. Your child is unique and special, and at Cambridge, we plan to treat him or her that way.
If you have any questions about seeing a wichita pediatric dentist or finding the right dentist for your child, give us a call at (316) 687-2110 or toll free at (877) 687-2110.