Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be very traumatic. This trauma can impact both child and parent alike: child because he or she is terrified, and adult because of the empathy you feel for your child.
Many people, even adults, struggle with an irrational fear of the dentist. This can be eliminated by teaching your child when he or she is very young that the dentist’s office is not a place to fear, and that we are here to help him or her. A great way to begin this is by pretending to have dentist visits.
PRETENDING HELPS YOUR CHILD RELAX
If your child is used to pretending that he or she is visiting the dentist’s office, it helps reduce his or her stress levels when the time comes for an actual visit. In a child’s mind, the real visit will simply be an extension of an already-familiar game.
Make sure to play “dentist’s office” with your child from the time he or she is very young. Help him or her adjust to the idea of the dentist’s office. You might consider using a recliner in your home and reclining it back to make it look more like a dentist’s chair.
Then, you can have your child climb in and open up. Pretend to poke around in there, always telling him or her that you are helping to clean out the mouth.
You might want to search the Internet for some kid-friendly videos that help explain why going to the dentist’s office is important. You can help him or her see how we are able to clean out the germs in the mouth in order to keep the teeth healthy and strong.
We look forward to seeing your child! If you have any questions about helping him or her prepare, please feel free to contact us!