How many times do you hear people say, “I hate going to the dentist”? How often do you hear adults complaining and even neglecting making dental appointments because they are afraid? Typically these fears stem from painful childhood memories such as getting a first filling, being poked with a needle, or having a painful extraction. Other times it was the loud noises or the ‘masked assailant’ who instilled these fears.Do you want to learn more? click for more info
When people neglect to go to the dentist, the health of their teeth, and overall health, declines. As a parent, do you want your child to grow up fearing the dentist? Do you want your child to neglect his or her dental care and face a lifetime of health problems? Tackle the root of this growing problem by finding a good family dentist, who specializes in children’s dentistry.
Children should begin coming to the dentist as soon as they are able to sit still long enough! Some dentists require that children reach a certain age – typically four but some will clean the teeth of children as young as two!
So what should you look for when finding a dentist for your child and how do you know it will be a good fit? First, as mentioned earlier, look for a dentist who specializes in children’s or family dentistry. These offices will cater to people young and old, and provide a family-friendly environment, rather than the dental offices that occasionally works on the children of adult patients.
Call the office or offices you’re interested in and ask if you can schedule a meeting with the dentist. Explain you have a small child who may be fearful of going to the dentist because it is his or her first time. Say you and your child want to meet with the dentist so that your child will feel comfortable and enjoy the experience.
If the person on the other end of the phone seems puzzled or says they can’t accommodate this at their office, find another office. You want someone who is going to be patient in working with your child and will take their time to explain to your child what is going on. If a dentist can’t spare 15-20 minutes to meet with you, then he or she is not the dentist for your child.
Atmosphere plays a big role in easing your child’s fear of dental work. Family dentists typically have colorful waiting rooms with coloring books, pictures on the walls with bright, smiling faces, and they play children’s movies or cartoons for you while you’re waiting.
Some dental offices offer TV’s during procedures too and even offer headphones to listen to so your child will be distracted from the loud noises. Ask if these things are available when calling, or ask around among your circle of friends to see who offers this type of service.
You also want to be mindful of how your child reacts when meeting the dentist, during your consultation. Does the dentist make an effort to connect with your child? Does the dentist tell jokes to make your child laugh? Is there a hygienist or office assistant that is available to hold your child’s hand during a procedure?
All of these seemingly-small gestures can go a long way in ensuring that your child’s experience at the dentist is both memorable and enjoyable, setting up a lifetime of proper, responsible dental care.