Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith
Your child’s initial experiences at the dentist, and with teeth for that matter, are formative times. Imagine the experience from your child’s viewpoint. We take he/she to a place we don’t really visit that often, asking them to lie down and allow people to start looking and poking around in their mouth. This is, at best, a strange situation as perceived by a child.
So how can we help our young ones have a good dental experience? Here are 58 Dental’s top 3 tips:
1) Your child will likely mimic you. When children enter new situations, they will look to their parents and mimic their behavior. In short, kids watch us. Children look to parents, who may have reservations or anxiety about going to the dentist, and internalize this mindset. Here’s what you can do: Set the stage with positive communication. You can’t fake it here or your child will know, so think of some of the true advantages of a dental visit and share these with your child. These encouraging conversations will help create a confident approach for a successful dental visit.
2) Do a dry run; why not do several? Another great idea is to bring your child to the dental office prior to their scheduled visit. It helps create a memorable impression for your youngster to see mom and dad or a sibling have a routine dental visit. Remember communication with your kiddo is also key. Help anticipate the visit with encouraging statements, like:
- “You’ll get to meet a new friend.”
- “It’s a fun new adventure!”
- “You’re growing up to be such a big kid.”
- “Dr. Griffith is so much fun!”
3)Don’t overdo it. Talk with the dental team prior and set expectations. Our team has consistently found that setting simple goals and taking things slowly at first provides a great foundation for success. I think we can agree, our primary objective is for your child to have a good first experience, not necessarily to complete all the technical tasks of a dental appointment. How does this help? It means that if your child becomes resistant to further examination or cleaning, then we just stop and end the appointment on an encouraging note. This almost always leads to the next dental appointment progressing further and over time your child will benefit from these positive experiences.
The need for your child to have a good first experience can’t be overstated. If slow, positively reinforced dental appointments can’t meet your child’s needs then it would be appropriate to discuss the benefits of dental sedation. If you have questions regarding your youngster, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the team members here at 58 Dental in Denver, CO.