As a parent, it is intuition to protect your child from all that you are able. Some parents hover, others coddle, some have more of the ‘try it once’ approach. Children learn a variety of ways and it takes a bit of trial and error before learning the best way to reach your child as they start to experience the world. No matter how many times you may say, ‘don’t touch, it’s hot,’ it is possible that the child won’t understand ‘hot’ until they feel what ‘hot’ is. Children look to adults to guide them, and to keep them safe and feeling secure. A trip to the Colonia dentist is no different.
Children take their cues from their guardians. If you start off their visits with negative tones, your child will grow to be afraid, or fearful, of the dentist. On the other hand, if you go to the dentist with a positive attitude and approach, your child won’t learn to be scared of their dentist.
Start Oral Care Early
The younger a child is when they begin visiting the dentist for pediatric dentistry services, the more comfortable they will be as they grow older. The American Dental Association recommends the child’s first trip to the dentist begin near the child’s first birthday, or at least once the first tooth appears. The early visits to the dentist are easy ways to start acclimating kids to our Colonia dentist and staff. A quick ride in the chair is fun and the comforting smiles throughout the office will let your child have a good, positive experience. As your child ages, they will then build on that positive experience.
Helpful Tips for Your Visit
Watch what you say to young children on their way to their Colonia dentist appointment. Saying “it won’t hurt,” uses a negative tone that young minds pick up on. Instead use positive phrases. Here are a few that may help you come up with your own:
- The dentist is going to count your teeth
- Let’s make sure your teeth are clean and healthy
- We need healthy, strong teeth
- Our dentist needs to check your pretty/handsome smile
There are a variety of ways you can create a positive experience. Keep away from phrases that discuss pain or the potential for pain, and never over-promise. If a complication like a cavity has to be cared for, your child may not trust you in the future when you say everything is going to be fine.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Our Colonia dentist and staff love answering any questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding your child’s oral treatment plan. Call our office when a question arises, write them down and bring them in to your child’s appointment, or check out our Facebook page. The unknown can cause anxiety. When your questions are answered, you’ll feel more knowledgeable and less anxious and your child will sense your confidence.
Your child relies on you to establish a safe environment that protects them. With a little thought and attention to your wording, you can instill a healthy image of oral care that will carry through with them their entire life.