As adults, we understand that seeing dental professionals is for our own benefit, but if your child is scared or nervous about going to their dental appointments, it can cause stress for the entire family. The good news is that there are steps you can take to make everything a whole lot easier, and you may find that your child will actually look forward to the next time they have an appointment to have their teeth checked.
Start them young
Many people mistakenly assume that they don’t need to book a dental appointment for their children until they have teeth. Parents should register their child with the local dental practice as soon as the child is born. Appointments can be made when the child is just six months old, or whenever the dental professionals advise. By taking a child for check-ups from an early age, not only are you allowing the baby to become familiarised with the dental environment, but any problems they may have with their gums or jaw can also be detected as early as possible.
It is all too easy to tell your kids about your own terrible experiences with your teeth, but this is merely passing your fears onto them. Refrain from being negative, and instead educate your children about the benefits of regular dental appointments and good dental hygiene. Although most dental practices give children stickers after an appointment, it would be worthwhile providing your own treat after each visit. Steer clear of edible treats and instead reward with a trip to the park or extra time on their favourite game.
Lead by example
Children can be anxious when experiencing something different, especially if that something different involves having someone poke at their teeth! If possible arrange to visit the dental practice before the child’s appointment so they can see there is nothing to worry about. This is best done during a parent’s check-up rather than during a through treatment session. When your child sees you are comfortable having your teeth checked, it is probable your child will have their fears alleviated.
Adults with dental anxiety
Knowing that regular dental appointments are in your child’s best interests can motivate an adult with dental anxiety to address their own fears. Although it may not be as simple as rewarding yourself with a treat after each appointment, there are efficient ways to make each visit easier. Speaking with a dental professional can help to ease your anxiety and ensuring the practice is aware of your nervousness allows them to put certain procedures in place. If pain is your prevalent fear, ask about Wand Painless Injections as this computerised solution allows patients to be anaesthetised without experiencing the bee-sting effect that can occur when fluids rush into a confined area of tissue. This is also an excellent solution for patients with a fear of syringes as the anaesthetic is administered using a device that looks like a pen.