How To Help Your Child Tolerate Dental Appointments

Children should receive periodic dental exams, cleanings, and any necessary treatments even if they only have a few baby teeth in place. These early dental appointments help to ensure that the teeth will erupt properly and remain free of decay. You can help prepare your child for dental visits by practicing the following strategies.

Discuss Dental Appointments in Reassuring Terms

No one likes to think about dentists in terms of injections, drills, or discomfort, least of all children unaccustomed to dental visits. Avoid bringing up these disconcerting details when discussing an upcoming pediatric dental appointment. Instead, focus on positive details such as how dental cleanings keep teeth healthy.

Provide Child-Friendly Media on the Subject

Children eagerly absorb interesting, engaging content from their favorite cartoon characters via videos, games, or books. Visit your local library or perform an online search to find entertaining, honest, reassuring media about dental care for young patients. Watch or read along with your child so you can answer any questions or concerns.

Make the Visit as Pleasant as Possible

Positive reinforcement goes a long way toward helping children feel relaxed and even enthusiastic about a dental appointment. For this reason, experienced pediatric dentists typically provide rewards and treats such as stickers, toys, and games. Your child may even have the opportunity to watch TV during the appointment.

Your own presence can also make a big difference in the quality of your child's dental experience. Stay with your child throughout the appointment if at all possible so you can offer continuous encouragement. Pediatric dentists often allow parents to sit in the dentist's chair, holding small children in their lap for extra reassurance.

Request Dental Sedation to Relieve Anxiety

Children and adults alike may feel significant anxiety when they visit the dentist, despite plenty of assurances that all will go well. If your child experiences unmanageable anxiety during dental visits, ask about the availability of sedation to help the child remain calm and relaxed.

Pediatric sedation dentistry can employ various degrees of sedation depending on the type of treatment necessary. For a routine checkup, cleaning, or filling, your child may need nothing more than nitrous oxide. Your pediatric sedation dentist administers this gas, mixed with oxygen, through a breathing mask.

By helping your child tolerate dental visits without undue fear or anxiety, you can set the stage for a lifetime of better dental health and wellness. Contact a local pediatric sedation dentist today to learn more or schedule that all-important first appointment.