Most children are afraid of dentists. Even finding a Santa Cruz pediatric dentist still won’t guarantee you can even get your child out the door to come with you for a check-up. Some parents resort to tricking their children they are going somewhere fun instead of spending the afternoon on a dentist’s chair.
Getting your child to go to the dentist is not a matter of convincing them, it’s a matter of preparing them for the visit. Explaining them the importance of oral health, walking them through the process, and keeping positive associations can do wonders to pacify any frightened child.
Bring your child to your own dental appointment. Allow him or her to observe your session. Make sure this appointment is a simple procedure such as a regular cleaning. Do not bring them to watch a painful wisdom tooth extraction or root canal treatment. If you’re going to let your child watch, make sure to put on a brave face. Children take emotional cues from their parents.
Go the extra mile and find a Santa Cruz pediatric dentist instead of taking your child to a general practitioner. Pediatric dentists undertook additional courses to train them to deal with children. Moreover, they have child-friendly clinics and waiting areas different from regular waiting rooms in dental clinics. Walking into an enjoyable environment can set a positive tone to the visit.
Pediatric dentists may also teach your child proper ways of brushing and flossing, and instill the importance of maintaining good oral habits. General dentists might not be as trained and experienced to level with young patients.
Make your child’s first visit to the dentist a routine check-up. Waiting until they lose their first tooth or experience tooth ache will only build a negative association with the visit. Taking them to meet with the dentist will show this is a normal occurrence and they shouldn’t be nervous or scared.
Another option is to go to a dentist who offers sedation dentistry for children. These dentists may help pacify your child and give him or her anesthetics so they don’t have to experience the dental treatment whether they are painful or not. As most anesthetics aren’t recommended for children, this should be a last resort instead of a go-to solution.