Dental care is an essential part of maintaining overall health and well-being, and good dental care must start as soon as teeth appear. This means that by the age of one to two, dental practices should already be a routine for baby and parents. As the child grows, they will need to start seeing a dentist to get proper cleanings and dental care. However, many young children seem to be afraid of going to the dentists. This makes sense as most young children are still very fearful of strangers and children are also very receptive to anxiety, stress, and fear shown by their parents and other adults. Finding a dentist who is good with children is essential because all it takes is one bad experience with an ill-equipped dentist to make a child terrified of the dentist chair. It may take time but you owe it to your child to find a pediatric dentist who can take care of their teeth as well as their minds and feelings as well. Here at Forest City Dental, of Rockford, IL, we offer a range of dental services designed to meet the specialized and ever-changing needs of children. Our goal is to help children overcome their fear of the dentist.
Making the Most of the First Appointment
Once you have found a dentist you like, here are some tips to help make those early appointments easier and less stressful for you and your child and to help children overcome their fear of the dentist:
- Make sure that you, or whatever adult is accompanying the child to the first dental appointment, stay calm and relaxed. Children get a lot of feedback from the adults so it is important to set a good example for them. You must show that there is nothing to be afraid of and that they should be calm and relaxed as well.
- Never use a visit to the dentist or dental treatments as a form of punishment. Never threaten your child or try to manipulate them or control their behavior by threatening to take them to the dentist. This does nothing but make them even more terrified even if they learn not to show it outwardly to you. This behavior won’t help children overcome their fear and will make it worse.
- Never coerce your child or, bribe them, intimidate them, or guilt them into going to the dentist. Explain to them why dental visits are needed and make sure they know why it is important to take care of their teeth. Make them go but look for ways to help them see the benefits of having healthy teeth and going to the dentist.
- Listen to your child, do not downplay their fears and concerns, never belittle them or mock them for being afraid, and let them express their fears. Us this as a time to talk about how brave they can be and how proud you will be. Talk about their uncertainties, answer their questions, and help put their fears to rest.
Preparing For the Dental Appointment
During your child’s visit with our dental team, parents can expect them to do the following as we work to take care of their teeth and also work to help children overcome their fear of the dentist:
- Check for warning signs of issues that may need to be addressed- things like injuries, cavities, broken teeth, development delays, misaligned teeth, gum problems, or other things that need to be watched closely.
- Let you know about any issues and what needs to be done to correct them. We will talk with you and your child and explain what needs to be done how it will be done and will answer any questions either of you has.
- Clean your child’s teeth, floss all of the teeth, and if needed do a fluoride rinse treatment or varnish treatment on the back teeth. Our dental team will also make sure they go over daily brushing and flossing procedures too.
- Discuss concerns you as a parent may have about the oral health or development of your child’s teeth. Common concerns we help parents with involve infant teething, thumb sucking, crooked teeth, and missing adult teeth.
- Answer questions and take the time to ensure you get all the information you need to be confident in the day to day care of your child’s teeth and we will do everything to help children overcome their fear of the dentist.
Contact Us Today
Here at Forest City Dental, our goal is to help children overcome their fear of the dentist and help every child who comes into our office leave with a good experience and brighter smile. While it is natural for children to have some fear of the dentist at the start, there is a lot that parents can do to minimize this fear and we are here to help make it every appointment the best that it can be. Call and set up an appointment with us today and make it easier than you ever imagined to take care of your child’s teeth! When you need quality dental care in Rockford, IL the name to trust is Forest City Dental!