Fear of the dentist is something that many people have, adults and children alike. If your toddler is afraid to go to the dentist, they may avoid going as they get older, and in turn may develop teeth and gum problems. That's why it's important to help your child be comfortable at their first dental appointment.
Here are four things you can do to make them more comfortable:
Deal with Your Own Anxiety
Whether you are anxious about the dentist yourself, or are just nervous about your toddler seeing the dentist, it is important that you deal with it. Your toddler can tell when you are not comfortable, and that will cause them discomfort.
Make every effort to remain calm and smile so that you're a good role model. You may want to learn a few deep breathing techniques to help you relax.
Take Your Toddler to Your Dentist Appointment
Before you even take your toddler to their first appointment, it's a good idea to take them with you when you have a dental appointment. If your toddler is able to see you get your teeth examined, they will understand that the dentist's office does not have to be a scary place.
They will be able to see how you handle the entire event, so that they know how they should act when it's their turn.
Go to a Pediatric Dentist
While your toddler can go to your family dentist, it may be a good idea to go to a pediatric dentist. Not only are those dentists experts in dealing with children, they usually have waiting rooms with toys and books that are especially for children. This kind of environment can help your child to be calm and happy before seeing the dentist, and those good feelings can carry over into the examination room.
Explain What will Happen
It can be disturbing to your toddler to have a stranger poking about in their mouth with metal instruments. However, if you explain beforehand what is happening, they will know what to expect and feel better about it. Talk to your child about why the dentist is an important person, and discuss what their dental visit will be like. Use positive words about the dentist, so that they can anticipate a positive experience.
If possible, ask the dentist to talk with your child before anything happens as well.
If you use the tips in this article, you will be able to help your child feel better about going to the dentist. Consult a few pediatric dentists to find one that your toddler can be comfortable with. To learn more, contact a company like Southridge Pediatric Dentistry with any questions you have.